Hanuma Vihari is ready to bat anywhere for Team India
Indian Test team batsman Hanuma Vihari scored a sparkling century against New Zealand XI on Day 1 of the three-day practice match. India managed just 263 on a day that belonged to the NZ XI pacers. For India, Vihari (101), retired out and Cheteshwar Pujara (93) shined. Post his innings, Vihari claimed he is ready to bat anywhere for Team India. Here's more.
Vihari belongs to this Indian starting XI
Vihari was superb in the Test series against West Indies away from home last year. However, with India fielding five bowling options in the Tests against South Africa and Bangladesh, Vihari was limited to the bench. But the player will have a major role to play against the Kiwis. He slammed 101 which included 10 fours and three sixes before retiring out.
Vihari and Pujara were superb for India
The pitch was a green one and the NZ XI pacers were getting a lot of and movement in Hamilton. Vihari and Pujara defended well and weathered the initial storm. The duo added a century stand (195) for the fifth wicket and offered resistance as the pitch evened out against the older ball. They duo faced 393 deliveries between them to show immense character.
India's opening options struggled against NZ XI
India's opening options in the form of Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal failed against the seam and bounce the new ball offered. Shaw was out for a four-ball duck. Mayank followed suit and was dismissed for just one run. Meanwhile, Gill, who came in at number four, was out for a golden duck. This serves as a major issue for Team India.
I am prepared to bat anywhere, says Vihari
When asked about will he open the innings in absence of regular opener, Rohit Sharma, Vihari said he is ready to bat anywhere. "As a player, I am prepared to bat anywhere. As of now, I've not been informed anything. As I said before as well, if the team requires me to bat wherever, I am ready to bat," said Vihari to ANI.
Vihari expected to bat at number six: Our take
India are likely to go in with seven batsmen in the first Test. Vihari is expected to come out at number six rather than be presented as a make-shift opener. One between Shaw or Gill will likely be opening alongside Mayank.