Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan speaks about the surprising exclusion of Hanuma Vihari from the home Test series against New Zealand.

Vihari, whose last knock was the defiant innings at the SCG last year which helped India save the Test, was omitted from the New Zealand series, and Shreyas Iyer was selected in the squad.

Instead, Vihari was sent to South Africa with the India A side for three first-class matches.  The Andhra Pradesh batsman has played just one of 12 Tests in India.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)

Zaheer Khan opined that Vihari, a Test specialist, would have wanted to play in the New Zealand series. He also pondered whether Vihari,28, isn’t really a big part of the selectors’ plans going forward.

“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 Khan said.

“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 and focus on his game: Zaheer Khan

Shreyas Iyer grabbed his chance with both hands, slamming a century and fifty on debut in Kanpur. It will be difficult for the management to leave out Iyer or any of the struggling senior statesmen for Vihari in South Africa.

Zaheer Khan advises Vihari to not get frustrated by all this and just focus on his batting.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer scored a hundred and a fifty in Kanpur. (Photo: BCCI)

“So all Vihari can do is not to get frustrated from 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,” the former pacer added.

Meanwhile, India’s trip to South Africa could be delayed by a week as the BCCI assess the situation regarding the Omicron virus in South Africa.

Also Read: IND vs NZ 2021: Virat Kohli Knows When He Had Scored His Last Hundred And He Knows He Needs Another Hundred To Silence The Critics – Simon Doull