Gautam Gambhir has backed Hanuma Vihari’s selection in the forthcoming IND vs SA 3rd Test. The former India cricketer feels that Vihari should be given a chance at the middle-order ahead of Ajinkya Rahane. IND vs SA 3rd Test is set to commence on January 11 at Newlands in Cape Town.
In IND vs SA 2nd Test, Hanuma Vihari was picked in the playing XI as a replacement to Virat Kohli after the latter could not play the match due to an upper back spasm. Vihari performed well with the bat in the second innings, scoring unbeaten 40 runs. He also built crucial stands with tailenders to take India to 266-10 in the end. However, with the return of Virat Kohli in the next game, Vihari might lose his place in the playing XI.
Very Unfair If Hanuma Vihari Is Benched In Next Game, Says Gautam Gambhir
While speaking to Star Sports, cricket commentator Gautam Gambhir spoke in favour of Hanuma Vihari’s selection in the IND vs SA 3rd Test. Gambhir said that it will be very unfortunate if the right-handed batsman is benched in the next game after his impressive batting performance in the 2nd Test.
“It would be very unfortunate if he (Hanuma Vihari) doesn’t play the next Test. If Rahane has scored a fifty, even Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten on 40. If Vihari had batted in Rahane’s position, he might have scored a fifty as well. He has played with control in both innings,” Gambhir Gambhir said.
The former India opener also maintained that Hanuma Virari should replace Ajinkya Rahane at the no.5 spot in the next game, as it will be very unfair he doesn’t get an opportunity to play.
“You would want to give a long rope to such a batter. You don’t just play him in one game, then keep him out for the rest of the year. It is very unfair. We’ve seen Rahane’s performances for a long time now. So, I think that when Virat Kohli comes back in the next Test, he should bat at number 4 with Hanuma Vihari at 5. Going forward, I think it’s a right move in the right direction,” Gaumtam Gambhir further said.
While Hanuma Vihari played a good knock, out of form Ajinkya Rahane also played a fine knock of 58 runs in the 2nd innings. Rahane also built a crucial partnership of 111 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara (53) for the 3rd wicket, with the latter too hitting a half-century.
India lost the 2nd Test by 7 wickets after South Africa comfortably managed to chase down the 240-run target in the final innings. Dean Elgar slammed unbeaten 96 runs to sweep the victory for the team. Now, India vs South Africa three-match Test series is tied at 1-1 with one more game to go. Earlier, India defeated the hosts by 113 runs in the 1st Test.
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