India batsman Hanuma Vihari, who will be returning to Indian Premier League this season for the first time in three years, said he is not feeling any pressure. The right-handed batsman, who last played in the T20 tournament in 2015 for Sunrisers Hyderabad, was sold for Rs 2 crore to Delhi Capitals at the IPL auction in December last year. Speaking in an interview to Cricket Country, the 25-year-old said, “I don’t feel any pressure at all, it’s an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and what I have become as a cricketer in these three years.”
The Andhra batsman, who recently created the record of becoming the only batsman to get three consecutive Irani Cup centuries, further said that he is focused on leading Delhi to the title. “My only goal is to contribute in a winning cause for Delhi Capitals. Of course, as a team our ultimate dream is to win the trophy,” he said.
Speaking on captain Shreyas Iyer and coach Ricky Ponting, Vihari said: “We have a great mix of Indian and foreign players, and I’m really looking forward to playing under Shreyas and Ricky’s leadership.”
With DC featuring a slew of batsmen in the squad, including Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Iyer, Jason Roy, Colin Ingram and Colin Munro, Vihari said he is ready to play at any position the management decides. “It really depends on the management – when and where they want me to bat, as an opener or a finisher. But I am fully ready and prepared for everything. I’ve waited for three years, and I’m mentally in a great space at the moment,” he said.
Vihari, who was included in India’s Test squad last year against England and Australia, further said that having made India debut has released a lot of pressure from his shoulders. “With the India debut having happened, a lot of pressure is off my shoulders. I’d been waiting for it for really long. Now that the monkey is off my back, I can play more freely, and express myself better,” Vihari said.
On being questioned whether he hopes to make it into India’s limited overs squad, the batsman accepted that a good IPL season could open the doors for the same. “Whether it’s ODIs or T20s, this is where so many India players come up from. You maybe playing a lot of domestic, a lot of List A games, but there are only so many people following that, whereas the IPL is a tournament where the whole world watches you. I’ve got this opportunity after 3 years, and want to grab it with both hands,” he said.