Hyderabad: G. Hanuma Vihari has sweet memories of his maiden England trip where on debut at the Oval in 2018 he stamped his class with a half century and a three wicket haul. This time around the 27-year old, aware of the tough challenges, is all focused to make hay in the English sun.
“It was a good debut for me. There were good memories from the last tour. I got some runs and took three wickets. I’m also focusing on my bowling. I need to bowl more in the nets,” he said from England.
Vihari, who did not play in the suspended IPL this year, had flown to England last month to play for Warwickshire to get acquainted with the weather and the conditions there. “I found the best way to get into the groove for the series would be to play county cricket. When I came here the wickets were fresh and the weather was quite cold but I’m getting used to the conditions. It is always a challenge to score runs in English conditions. I’m using this stint with Warwickshire as part of my preparations for the Test series against England.”
The middle-order batsman said it is always challenging to play against an England attack in England.
“They have one of the best attacks in the world. It will be a tight contest between the bat and the ball. We won the series in Australia and we want it to back it up in England as well.”
Vihari said he has to wait for an opportunity to play in the Indian XI. “It is tough to get a place in the Indian eleven. There is a very healthy competition. Therefore it is all about performing well and stay focused.”
The former Hyderabad captain last played for India in the third Test in Sydney where he saved the match along with Ravichandran Ashwin. “I played the most important innings of my career in the Sydney Test despite a hamstring injury. I got a lot of appreciation after that stand with (Ravichandran) Ashwin which helped India to save the third Test with a draw. It will be one of the top performances of my career. Though I missed the Test series against England at home, I want to take the Sydney Test performance to this series in England.”
Asked on his performance in England so far, Vihari said he played in three county matches where his performance was okay. “Though I did not get enough runs, I could get a good feel of the ball in the seaming conditions.”
Vihari was all praise for coach Ravi Shastri and the supporting staff in shaping the side to a world class team. “(Virat) Kohli has been an inspirational leader to young players. I feel proud to be part of the team which is No.1 in Test rankings. It is a big achievement.”
G Hanuma Vihari says he feels responsible for helping the needy people in the second wave of Covid-19 that has hit the country.
“I feel responsible. Although there were cases of Covid-19 last year, it was not as severe as this time. The people are suffering and so I thought I should help the needy people, who are not even getting beds or medicines. I feel it is my duty. I started on my own and gradually I formed a team of 80 people because I could not handle these many cases. We have now 200 people who are requesting help. Even if I’m in the match, the group will coordinate with the people concerned and try to solve to it.”
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