On Friday, the Indian cricketer, Hanuma Vihari said that he is willing to open the innings as well if the team management asks him to do so as he scored a century against the second-string New Zealand attack on the opening day of the warm-up game. Coming in at no.6, Vihari scored a hundred but Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, and Shubman Gill combinedly score just one run during the match against New Zealand XI.
The trio’s performance raised doubts about its ability to face the likes of Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry. Talking about the same, Vihari said, “As a player, I am prepared to bat anywhere. As I said before as well if the team requires me to bat wherever I am ready to bat. Sometimes you have to understand the team combination as well. You can’t get disheartened by it. I understood when you are playing at home, we play five bowlers. It’s obvious that one batter has to miss out. So I took it in my stride.”
Vihari was surprised by the extra bounce on offer on Friday but is happy that he managed to counter the challenge in the warm-up game which provided him with an opportunity to prepare well. He added 195 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara (93) after none of the other batsmen crossed the 20-run mark.
If the Seddon Park track is any indicator, New Zealand, with a pace-heavy line-up, will be offering seamer-friendly pitches at both Wellington and Christchurch.
Talking about the same, Vihari said, “Maybe we will get pitches like these because New Zealand’s strength is their fast bowling. They have a very experienced bowling attack but it’s good that we got some time in the middle and we experienced these conditions. They were tough and it’s good to experience tough conditions before the series and we’re happy with the way the day went.”
Revealing the advice Vihari received from Pujara, he said the latter told him to leave more balls on this wicket. For the Test series, Neil Wagner’s short ball is something that the top-order needs to be cautious of, feels Vihari.