The Indian test specialist, Hanuma Vihari was one of the biggest absentees from India’s squad for the ongoing two-match Test series against New Zealand. Ever since he has made his Test debut in 2018, the right-handed batter has been a regular part of India’s Test squad. However, he hasn’t been regular in the playing XI due to the team’s problem of plenty. In fact, Vihari’s all 12 Test appearances so far have come on foreign lands, where India doesn’t mind including six batters in the line-up.
As the likes of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant have rested ahead of Africa tour for the home Test series against the Kiwis, Vihari looked all set to play his first home Test. However, the selectors surprisingly asked him to join India A squad for the three-match unofficial Test series in South A
It must be noted that India is set to travel to South Africa for a full-fledged tour later this month. Hence, the impression came that selectors want Vihari to get acclimatized with the conditions of the rainbow nation. However, many believed playing Test cricket would have been better for the 28-year-old. Speaking on the matter, former Indian fast bowler, Zaheer Khan reckoned Vihari should not get affected by the outside noise and focus on his game.
Zaheer Khan had said, “First of all, you need to see how many players already playing here (against New Zealand). Now, India plays 10-12 Test matches in a year. So, players, who are just playing the longest, would want to feature in every match. However, that’s not possible due to the competition within the team.”
Zaheer further said thinking about national selection would only make things complicated for Vihari. Hence, he must only focus on delivering in domestic and other games.
Former India pacer explained, “Although communication is a key, one can’t be absolutely clear when it comes to selection. It might happen that Vihari isn’t a crucial part of India’s upcoming plans. So all Vihari can do is not to get frustrated by all these factors and focus on his game. He should look to improve on basics and perform in whatever opportunities he’s getting. You have to simplify things for yourself, not to complicate.”