The man of the attention at the moment, Hanuma Vihari said starting his innings with skipper Virat Kohli helped him gain his confidence. “When I went in, Virat (Kohli) was batting beautifully. The confidence rubbed off and I started very well. Today was very different, it was not free-flowing. That’s how it is in Test cricket and as I said a lot of credit goes to Ishant.”
The 25-year-old all-rounder scored his maiden Test century during the first innings of the second match at the Sabin Park, Jamaica on Saturday. Vihari, along with Ishant Sharma, added 112 runs for the eighth wicket. While Vihari scored his first-ever triple figure in the red-ball cricket, Ishant notched up his maiden fifty.
Vihari was all praise for Ishant’s batting and said the tailender was looking more like a batsman. “He looked more like a batsman than me the way he was going. We discussed what the bowlers were trying to do and his experience counted a lot there. When you are batting at no 6 the intent has to be positive. At that position, you will be batting with a batsman and then a wicket falls and you will be with the wicketkeeper or the lower order,” Vihari exclaimed while speaking to the journalists after the end of the day’s play.
The batsman also reflected on his anxiety that he had to go through the earlier night, he said, “When I was batting overnight on 42, I didn’t sleep very well. My thoughts were on how to get a big score and I am happy that I crossed that three-figure mark. I’m really happy to get a hundred in those conditions.”
On being asked whom he wanted to dedicate his first hundred in international cricket, Vihari had not hesitated to say his father’s name. “My dad passed away when I was 12 and ever since I had decided that when I play international cricket I want to dedicate my first 100 to him. Today is a very emotional day and I hope he is proud wherever he is.”
However, despite talking about his late father and on-field cricketing matters, he could not stop lauding the efforts of Ishant Sharma. “They (tail-enders) all work really hard in the nets. The way Ishant batted in this series shows the character of this team. In the last game as well, Ishant and (Ravindra) Jadeja had a crucial partnership. The lower order always contributes in good teams and we are really happy we achieved it,” he said.