Andhra Pradesh batsman Hanuma Vihari’s dream to wear India jersey seems to be materializing as the right-hander received his maiden national call-up for the remaining two Tests against England on Wednesday (August 22).
With his staggering first-class record, it was a matter of time for the 24-year-old Vihari to get a call-up in the national side. In 63 first-class games, he has scored 5142 runs at an average of 59.79 with 24 fifties and 15 tons.
On Friday (August 24), Vihari opened up his cricket journey while speaking to BCCI TV.
“Going to South Africa on my first tour and playing in those conditions helped me a lot. I knew what was coming after that. I knew I had to perform a lot after that. I also knew I had to perform well in the domestic season to get back in the frame and prove in India A level. To play for India you have to play well in the A team, there is no other choice,” Vihari quoted.
“Its tough to get into the Indian side but once you get into the side but once you get in you must make sure to grab that opportunity and make it count,” he added.
Hanuma Vihari was one of the stars in 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, scoring 752 runs in six matches at an average of 94, including a career-best 302 not out against Odisha. In his most recent first-class game against South Africa ‘A’ in Bengaluru, Vihari hit a match-winning 148.
Talking about his inspiration while growing up, Vihari said legendary India batsman VVS Laxman has also had a big influence in his career.
“Coming from Hyderabad, VVS Laxman has been an inspiration. He is a legend. I was fortunate to play a few games with him. In SRH he was my mentor and therein he told me to trust my game, gave me a lot of freedom and be in a good space of mind,” he remarked.
The youngster also revealed that he switched his base from Hyderabad to Andhra Pradesh just because of his willingness to play for India.
“I knew I was taking a big gamble as it is not easy to change your home state and play for another state. You have to perform twice the rate at which you performing before. I took up the challenge to be an India player and not a Ranji Trophy player. I am glad I took the decisions,” Vihari concluded.
Watch the video here: