Exclusive: Hanuma Vihari distances himself from fixing allegationshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/exclusive-hanuma-vihari-distances-himself-from-fixing-allegations/

Exclusive: Hanuma Vihari distances himself from fixing allegations

Not deterred by the 'baseless' allegations,Vihari keeps his focus only on cricket.

According to the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police in the spot-fixing case,arrested bookie Chandresh Patel had told the cops that he had met with four players from the Sunrisers Hyderabad side,those who go by the name of “Perera,Bihari,Ashish Reddy and Karn Sharma.”

With no player with the surname “Bihari” in their ranks,all fingers were pointed towards the young top-order batsman Gade Hanuma Vihari,who did well in the IPL this year and represents the unit on a consistent basis. Not deterred by the ‘baseless’ allegations,Vihari keeps his focus only on cricket.

“I have no business commenting on what the media says. It is up to them on whatever they have to say or write. As far as I’m concerned,I am still committed to the game the way I was earlier and don’t wish to say much about that. My focus and priority still remains cricket,and I don’t want to concentrate or pay attention to this. I want to focus only on my cricket at the moment,” Vihari told The Indian Express.

After a good outing in the IPL,Vihari didn’t fire all cylinders in the CLT20. Only 24 runs in three innings doesn’t make a good reading. However,playing for Sunrisers not only gave the 19-year old an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade from VVS Laxman,but also improved him as a batsman after he faced the likes of Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra in the nets.

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“Steyn doesn’t go 100% in the nets,but the pace at which he generates swing makes him a very difficult bowler to face. And,if you play him well then nothing like it. I have grown in confidence facing him. During net sessions he used to walk down and appreciate a good shot and kept motivating me. He tries to give you confidence in the nets because we play in the same team in the IPL. Facing Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma gave me a lot of confidence too. They are quality bowlers. When you can play well against them,you get the confidence to face any spinner in the world,” says Vihari.

Mentor Laxman,too,played his part.

“Laxman gives very important tips to youngster. He said that the game is improving,so we have to improve from our last innings. We should have something different while we take crease for the next match or the next season. He further said that the growing technology only makes it easier for the opposition to analyse our game. So in order to counter that one should always be different and keep improving,” says Vihari

A launchpad for many young cricketers in his age bracket,the Under-19 World Cup 2012 was not a memorable experience for the right-hander. With his teammates grabbing headlines after the famous win Down Under,Vihari had to satisfy with ‘member of the World Cup-winning squad’ tag,courtesy a poor aggregate of 71 in his six outings with bat. The failure there was a blessing in disguise as it helped Vihari become a better cricketer.

“Failure in the World Cup was a lesson for me to improve. Failures help us learn quicker. If I would have done well in the U-19 World Cup,I don’t think I would have worked the way I did after the failure. I had a really good IPL,and now wish to emulate the same in the upcoming Ranji season,’ says Vihari.