Hanuma Vihari, the batsman with best first-class average in world

 . Last updated on September 4, 2018, 4:00 PM
Hanuma Vihari, the batsman with best first-class average in world

Hanuma Vihari is among the latest Test debutant of India. His maiden match was against England on 24 August, 2018.

Hanuma Vihari is among the latest Test debutant in team India. His maiden game was in the Test match against England on 24 August, 2018. With this, he became the first cricketer from Andhra Pradesh to play for team India in 19 years. He follows MSK Prasad, who is the current selector of team India. Vihari replaced Kuldeep Yadav, the Chinaman bowler for his excellent record in first-class.

The player is not only a top player in first-class circuit of the country, but in the world, being with the ninth highest average in the format. His average is 59.79, scoring 5142 runs in 63 matches. Among all current players, he has the best average, battering even Steven Smith, who is the next best. Vihari was the fourth highest scorer in the latest Ranji season with a tally of 752 runs. His average in the tournament was 94. Being primarily a batsman, he also picked up 19 first-class wickets at an average of 39.42.

Much of Vihari’s impressive records are in first class tournaments. In 2013-14 Ranji season, he scored almost one third of the total runs against Andhra. In 2017-18 Ranji Trophy, he scored the maiden triple century in a match against Orissa. He remained unbeaten at 302 runs as an Andhra batsman. In the season, he came out as highest scorer for the team. He also played as the captain of team Andhra.

Vihari is the first player from Andhra Pradesh to join Team India in past 19 years.

Vihari is the first player from Andhra Pradesh to join Team India in past 19 years.

Vihari bats right-handed and bowls right-arm off break deliveries. The player was also in the India Under-19 cricket team that won the 2012 ICC Under-19 World Cup. Sanath Kumar, who coached the Andhra team for two years observed that Vihari can play very strong in square wickets on both sides, which makes him an excellent backfoot batsman. Per the coach, his “picking of length is a great strength”, that provide him much time to play shots.

Vihari debuted IPL playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013. In his maiden season, in a match against Hyderabad, he dismissed Chris Gayle for a single run. In the same match, he also scored 46 making Sunrisers to win the match through a super-over. He was dropped in 2014 season, but the Hyderabad brought him on board in 2015. His IPL stint was not colorful, unable to impress team selectors after 2015 season. The player also made himself available in league cricket of England and Bangladesh. In 2014 and 2015, he played for Hutton CC at the Shephered Neame Essex First Division League. His record alongside India A team is impressive. In his last 11 innings, the batsman scored 612 runs at an average of 55.63. He ducked only twice in his stint so far.

Vihari was born in October of 1993, reaching 25 years in age. He is from Kakinada of Andhra. The player was brought up by his mother, Vijayalakshmi, as he lost his father at a young age. His mother runs a women clothing store in Hyderabad. She has been a great support in his making. In an interview, the player said that she used to say, he should give 100 percent to his passion and not worry about any other things. His schooling was from St. Andrews School. His early cricket coaching was at St. John’s Coaching Foundation in Secunderabad. He was trained under John Manoj at the institute. A fan of Sachin Tendulkar, he also served in Andhra Bank. There are no records about personal life of the young debutant so far.

Hanuma Vihari has the best first-class average among current batsmen in the world, even battering Aussie Captain Steven Smith.

Hanuma Vihari has the best first-class average among current batsmen in the world, even battering Aussie Captain Steven Smith.

At a press meet back in 2017, he opened up on several aspects. He said, especially in first class cricket, a batsman has to learn the tactics used by bowlers and learn them to be a step ahead of them. He further added, bowlers keep coming back harder after each season. Per the batsman, in Ranji, there are no easy runs and to get recognized, reaching 300 runs or a triple century is a must. He termed centuries and double centuries as common-place in contemporary times of the tournament.

Hanuma Vihari’s transformation has been sharp in recent years. He lost the IPL berth, but didn’t stop the perusal of excellence in his game. He believes, the stint in England made him a better player. He said, the responsibility as a batsman is more in club cricket as they there are only one or two front-men. Now he has started the journey as a team India player among the primary XI.

 

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