AUS v IND 2020-21: “Very well done, you did a great job,” Dravid’s message to Vihari after his SCG heroics

Vihari credited Dravid for nurturing young stars and giving them freedom of expression.

Vihari credited Dravid for nurturing young stars and giving them freedom of expressionIndia’s Hanuma Vihari might not have set the stage of fire during the Australia Test series which recently concluded with India winning miraculously 2-1, including a brilliant win at Gabba, Brisbane, but he played one of the most memorable knocks on the tour.

Coming into Sydney Test, India was set a target of 400 plus in the fourth innings, and thanks to Rishabh Pant’s 97 and Cheteshwar Pujara’s fighting fifty, the visitors seemed to be going for the runs. However, once the duo was dismissed, it was left to Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin to bat out more than a session to earn a draw.

And that’s what they did, especially Vihari, who batted 161 balls for his unbeaten 23 on one leg, suffering a grade 2 hamstring tear early in his innings.

In an exclusive interview with Sports Today, Vihari highlighted the role of former India captain Rahul Dravid in his batting and how he has nurtured the future stars of the Indian team.  

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"Even after the Sydney Test, it was nice of him to send me a text. He said ‘Very well done, you did a great job’. That is the person he is and I respect him for that," Vihari told India today.

He credited Dravid was paving the gap between Ranji Trophy and the Indian team, saying Dravid gave freedom to youngsters to express themselves while on India A tours.

"I mean, after getting picked in the India A side. Those who were there in the side, Siraj, Saini, Shubman, Mayank, everyone who were part of that side played a lot of cricket together in India A. Also, in the last 3-4 years, we played many India A tours and he was the coach (Rahul Dravid). I don’t think we played so many India A tours before.

So that bridged the gap between Ranji Trophy and the Indian team. We made the progress quickly. That’s the reason why we are playing our first game or the second game, we are ready for the challenge. We are not behind any other players. He made it possible,” he said.

"As youngsters, we have to give a lot of credit to him, the way he let us express our game. When we play under him, it always feels like he is more of a mentor than a coach. He is always there whenever we need him.

Even in the last Australia tour, I made a call to him, saying ‘Sir, I am making my debut’. He said ‘you have done exceptionally well in Ranji Trophy, in India A, so you’re ready to play’. That’s the confidence he gave me," Vihari said.

(India Today inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 21 Jan, 2021

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