Indian batsman Hanuma Vihari says “flexing” his knees on chief coach Ravi Shastri’s advice helped him notch up a career-enhancing performance in the Test rubber against the West Indies, at the end of which skipper Virat Kohli called him the “find of the series”.
Vihari (53 not out and 111) was adjudged the Man of the Match in India’s 257-run win over the hosts in the second Test on Monday.
“He (Shastri) was talking about flexing my knees a little bit, I was a little upright in the first innings, so flexing my knees meant I could move my foot both on front and back foot,” said Vihari in conversation with fielding coach R Sridhar, which was posted by the BCCI on its website.
“It worked out very well and a lot of credit should go to him,” he added.
India’s fielding coach has known Vihari for a decade and a half. A heartfelt conversation between the two post India’s 2-0 series win – by @28anand
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 3, 2019
The 25-year-old emerged as India’s top run-getter against the West Indies in the two-match Test series with 289 runs.
“I relish batting under pressure because that is the challenge you have to accept as a batsman and these situations brings the best out of me,” said the Andhra batsman, who scored a 93 in the first Test in North Sound.
“I feel I try to focus on what the situation is, and have a certain game plan and I was fortunate enough to have good partnerships with Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane). He batted beautifully as well.”
Kohli has been lavish in his praise of Vihari, calling him his biggest find from the tour in which India won in all three formats.
Vihari said he was confident of a good outing during the two-match Test series against the West Indies as he had spent enough time on these pitches during the last two months with the India A team.
“I was in really good space. I have been in Caribbean for last two months, I have been practicing and playing matches on this wicket,” he said.
“So I was really confident and I think I played well in the practice match and it gave me that extra boost. I was looking forward to this series and I am happy it went well.”
In his first year in international cricket, Vihari has played six Tests. In between, he seems to have lost a bit of hair, got married and also scored 6000-plus first class runs while being just 25 years of age.
“I started my first class cricket quite early and that’s why I could score 6000 runs. I don’t know about the hair, may be too much batting from childhood,” he said with a laugh.
“…that experience will count, batting for nine years in first class cricket, and it helped me in pressure situation.”