EXCLUSIVE: Virat Kohli asked me to hold the winners trophy and hugged me, says Hanuma Vihari
NEW DELHI: The dressing room is quiet when he is in the middle. That is what virat Kohli He had to say when asked about the batting skill of Hanuma Vihari, after Team India beat the West Indies 2-0 in the two-game series to seal their authority in the World Test Championship in style.
According to Kohli, Hanuma was also the find of the series. Both in the India A series against the West Indies A and in the Test series after that, the 25-year-old player's statistics were very impressive.
In three unofficial tests against West Indies A, Hanuma, who was also the captain, scored 224 runs, including an undefeated and a fifty century.
In the Windies Test series, Hanuma finished as the best racing racer, scoring 289 runs in 4 innings at an amazing average of 96.33, including a century and two fifties.
Hanuma Vihari He spoke exclusively to Timesofindia.com from the Caribbean about his red hot run of form, his maiden century, virat Kohli's captaincy and much more.
You were the featured artist with the bat on the West Indies tour. What is your opinion about your overall performance?
The tour was fantastic. It was a long tour for me. I came here with the India A team and then the main test series began. (The Indian A series) worked very well for me. It helped me to acclimatize to the conditions properly. I entered fit at the right time. Overall, I am very happy with my performance.
In both tests against the West Indies, you hit differently and your attack rates were also totally different ...
This is how the situations in cricket are. Sometimes, you must get a faster score and you must be calm and patient. I perceived the situation well and beat accordingly. In the second innings of the second test, I accelerated a bit after playing a slow entry. In the first test, the team demanded that I play a certain way and I did it. In the second test, the situation (in which) I entered, forced me to bat patiently. I am happy to have done well. I can hit patiently and attack. I can analyze the situation well and hit accordingly. That is why the strike rates were different in both tests.
You missed a test of the century for 7 races in the first test. Were you disappointed?
Not really. Sometimes you reach the milestone and sometimes you miss it. It was one of those days. I am contributing to the team and always will. This comes first to me, then the milestone.
We saw virat Kohli reacting after you were dismissed on 93 and missed out on a century. He was clearly feeling sad. Did you speak to Virat after that?
He (virat Kohli) came and congratulated me. We didn’t discuss the missed century. I said ... Brilliant innings. My captain Virat, coach, Shastri sir and the entire management are very supportive. Virat (Kohli) gives us freedom and Shastri sir motivation. I am really happy that I am part of the world’s best team. I look forward to playing many more knocks like this in the future.
In fact, Kohli praised you a little, saying the locker room feels calm when Hanuma is hitting ...
It gives me a lot of confidence. That is the great thing for me. If I give that kind of security to the team, I really care a lot. It gives me a lot of motivation and satisfaction in the future. I want to be the player that the team can trust. I want to hit as long as possible for the team.
You have played in three test series so far and, interestingly, they have all been abroad. Is Hanuma an expert in batting abroad?
None of that (laughs). I want to hit where my team needs me. Send me anywhere, I will deliver for the team I have played all tours abroad so far and trust me, I have learned a lot. Learning the tours is helping me take my game to a different level.
After scoring 93 in the first Test, you scored your maiden Test century in the very next Test. What was virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri How was the conversation with them?
Both (Kohli and Shastri) were delighted. The whole team got up and applauded me from the locker room. I can't describe the feeling when I stretched my arms and celebrated my century while looking at the locker room. The whole team applauded me from the dressing room balcony. It was (an) incredible and incredible feeling. That means a lot for me. They believe in my game and talent that I possess. Not only my teammates, I received messages from every corner. That was an emotional day for me. It was nice to get the one hundred maiden on foreign soil.
You admire and admire VVS Laxman . Do you think you can be the next VVS for India?
(Laughter) Don't compare me with him. The moment I enter the ground, the first thing that comes to mind is the situation in which my team is. I plan accordingly and move on. I have learned a lot from VVS sir. He is a legend. I have spent a decent time in Hyderabad. During the IPL and domestic season, we chat and discuss cricket. He has a vast experience and I love discussing things with him.
virat Kohli has become the most successful Indian Test captain. What is it like playing under the captaincy of the world’s best batsman?
He (virat Kohli) has led by example. Everyone knows that he has got a lot of passion. The energy which he possesses, it is intimidating to the opposition. He is a great captain and the way he is driving the team forward is amazing. I am sure he will lead the team to the Test Championship win. I am happy and proud that I am playing under him.
If you were the star of the bat in the Caribbean, Jasprit Bumrah I was with the ball ...
He (Jasprit Bumrah) is quite unique and a very important part of our team. He is improving with time. He has an abundance of talent. He deserves all the praise and the way he is getting wickets is incredible. We are fortunate that he is playing for our team rather than the opposition. He will be a crucial factor in the World Test Championships going forward.
You were also seen with the trophy after the victory in the Test against the West Indies series. How did that feel?
After we won the series, he (virat Kohli) came straight to me and said ‘hold it’ and hugged me. He was kind enough to give me the trophy and I was very happy to hold the winning trophy. I want to thank each and every member of the team for the contribution in this win. This is an amazing team. When you win a series, especially overseas, it feels great. I am happy we started the Test Championship on a massive note.