Rohit Sharma was a man in form during the World Cup, as he scored five centuries and was hence included in India's Test squad for the West Indies tour. However, the Indian management recently decided to give Hanuma Vihari a chance instead of Rohit Sharma and the young man vindicated the faith reposed in him by the selectors.
His form and consistent scores have also impressed captain Virat Kohli, who spoke about his work ethic, temperament and said that the young middle-order batsman's self-belief provides a sense of calm in the dressing room.
"Hanuma was the stand-out batsman in this game. According to the surface, it was a top-class innings from him," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Vihari sure of his game
Kohli said that Vihari was a player who was extremely sure of his game and this reflected in the way he planned and executed his innings.
"He is someone who is sure of his game and it shows. The dressing room feels calm when he's batting. That's a quality he possesses naturally," said the captain. He added that Vihari's willingness to learn from mistakes will take him places and it is good indicator for his future.
"He (Hanuma) is willing to improve. He accepts and corrects his mistakes and plays with a lot of heart. Always up to do anything for the team. It's a very young career so far but he's shown why he's been backed and selected in this team," Kohli said.
Vihari, who emerged as India's top run-getter against the West Indies in the two-Test series with 289 runs was satisfied that his patience on tricky surfaces has paid off.
"I have not played a Test at home, looking forward to it. It's great to play in front of the home crowd back in India," said Vihari, who will be part of India's Test side when they face South Africa in Visakhapatnam.
He also said that the nature of surfaces was such that it mandated batsmen apply themselves and be patient at all times and that he was happy he could counter the tricky pitches.
"We had to be patient on this wicket as there was something in it for the fast bowlers. I was trying to take calculative risk against spinners, that was the game plan and it worked well for me," Vihari said.