Former chief selector of the Indian national cricket team, MSK Prasad heaped high praises on the middle-order batsman, Hanuma Vihari, and opines that Vihari can be tasked to bat at the number 4 position in absence of Virat Kohli.
The Indian batsmen put a shameful show on the third day of the Adelaide Test match as the entire team succumbed to the Australian pacers recording their lowest ever innings total in Test cricket. To pile on the misery, skipper Virat Kohli will not be available for the next three Tests as he will return home to attend the birth of his child.
Also, senior pacer, Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the series owing to the blow he copped on his right-hand wrist while batting in the second innings.
Vihari has a very sound technique and temperament: MSK Prasad
The Indian batsman one after another fell prey to the impeccable lines and lengths of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in Adelaide. With a massive void created at the number 4 position, MSK Prasad suggests that Vihari could be given an opportunity at that spot with Kohli’s likely replacement, KL Rahul can be asked to bat at number 6.
Prasad feels that the Vihari has a brilliant technique and is mentally strong to handle the pressure if early wickets fall – he opened in the 2018 MCG Test – and opines that it is a golden chance for Vihari and Rahul to step up in Kohli’s absence. He believes that Vihari will serve the Indian team for a long time.
“Vihari has a very sound technique and temperament and he can serve this Test team for a long time. In absence of Virat, it would be a great opportunity for him and KL (Rahul) to stand up and be counted,” MSK Prasad told PTI.
Vihari made his Test debut when MSK Prasad was the national selector. The right-hander also struck a composed ton in the second warm-up game against Australia A. The 45-year-old has confidence in Vihari to be successful at number 4 or 5. The 27-year-old currently averages 33 in 18 innings and has made timely vital contributions to the team.
“I would prefer Vihari batting at No. 4 or 5 in the next few Tests and face the challenge. He is a gutsy boy and I have confidence that he will do well if given the challenge. KL can be a good No. 6 in this series,” MSK Prasad added.