Hanuma Vihari is 'over the moon'. The 24-year-old cricketer, who plays for Andhra Pradesh in Ranji Trophy, has been drafted into the Indian Test squad for the last two Tests in England along with young prodigy Prithvi Shaw. This is is a surreal moment for Vihari, who has a staggering first-class record to his name. Having played 63 first-class matches, Vihari has amassed 5142 runs at an incredible average of 59.79, including 24 fifties and 15 hundreds.
With this strong CV, Vihari was always knocking on the Indian dressing room doors.
Vihari puts his feelings on being selected in the Test squad, without any filter. "I was over the moon, to be honest," he told Cricketnext after getting the nod from selectors to board the flight to England.
"It is a great moment for me and my career. I got a call from the India 'A' manager that I have to leave tomorrow. It is a surreal moment for me and my family as well. One that I will cherish forever," he adds.
The hunger for scoring runs has brought him here, Vihari says. Not to forget, he scored a massive 752 runs in 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season in only six innings, and averaged 94.
"I have always had the hunger of scoring big runs but once you have that maturity and experience and exposure, then you tend to have more confidence within yourself and that is what has helped me."
"So once I get to a hundred I will have the confidence to score a double hundred or even a triple hundred, last year which I got. I have always had the hunger but just the exposure being with the India A squad, once you get that exposure, then you have the self-confidence that you can really succeed," he says.
Looking at the opportunity with a practical approach, Vihari says that he is looking to learn from the tour as much as possible. He says, "I have played before in England, but the experience of international cricket is going to be very important and hopefully I can express myself there. So, I just want to go there with an open mind and see what I can learn from the tour."
"It is more about the game, more about the mindset of how you go about playing Test cricket at the higher level. So, I would love to see how they (the seniors) prepare for the matches and what their routines are and see how it helps in my game. And I am sure it will help me become a better player once I get there and take in that experience," he concludes.