Hyderabad: Having proved himself in overseas conditions, India batsman Hanuma Vihari could not be more excited to play his first Test at home with series against South Africa beginning in Visakhapatnam 2 October.
Vihari, who made his debut in England in September last year, has played six Tests but all out of India. He averages 45.60 and scored his maiden ton in the previous away series against the West Indies. ‘First time, I will be playing international in India for India. It is very exciting. That too in Vizag, my home association. I am looking forward to it,’ he said here on Thursday.
The middle-order batsman was speaking on the sidelines of a felicitation function organised for him on by his alma mater St. John’s Sports Coaching Foundation. Vihari said he has been preparing for the South Africa series at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. “Last 15 days, I have been at NCA. I have been preparing well for the South African series,” he said.
Asked if he would confine himself to Tests, Vihari said it is not in his hands and that he is ready to play in all formats given a chance. Team India fielding coach R Sridhar was also felicitated on the occasion. Veteran cricketer VVS Laxman, who is also an alumnus of St. John’s Sports Coaching Foundation, was present too.
Speaking at the event, Vihari said he was happy that Sridhar, who had trained him since his younger days, was present in the dressing room when he scored his maiden hundred. “Obviously, it was very fitting that Sridhar sir was there in the dressing room when I got my first hundred. I can only imagine how emotional he was and it was a special day. Obviously, he was there throughout, starting of my career to till now, he was always there. As I said, it is very fitting that he was there in the dressing room,” Vihari said. Laxman appreciated Vihari for the determination
shown as a young cricketer and Sridhar for his stellar contribution to the Indian team.