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Who is Hanuma Vihari? All you need to know about first Andhra player to make it to Indian Test team in 19 years

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New Delhi | Published: August 23, 2018 2:04:47 PM

What came as a surprise was the inclusion of Hanuma Vihari who is now the first player from Andhra Pradesh in 19 years to get a call for the Test side.

Hanuma Vihari, who is Hanuma Vihari, Hanuma Vihari india team, Hanuma Vihari cricketer, Hanuma Vihari profile, Hanuma Vihari facts, facts about Hanuma Vihari, india vs england, prithvi shaw, sports newsHanuman Vihari has been included in the Indian Test side for final two games against England. (Source: BCCI)

Before the national selection committee sat down on Wednesday evening to select the Indian Test team for the final two matches against England, there was a buzz that some big changes could be on cards. That proved right when the selectors announced that experienced opener Murali Vijay will be replaced by Mumbai’s 17-year-old sensation Prithvi Shaw while Andhra Pradesh’s 24-year-old middle order batsman Hanuma Vihari will take the place of Kuldeep Yadav.

Shaw’s inclusion was expected by many given his exploits in the Indian Premier League and India A tour of England last month. But, what came as a surprise was the inclusion of Hanuma Vihari who is now the first player from Andhra Pradesh in 19 years to get a call for the Test side. In what comes as a coincidence, the last player to represent India in white clothes from the state was chief national selector MSK Prasad.

A player with solid technique, Vihari was part of the World Cup-winning India Under-19 squad in 2012. His performances had also earned Vihari a contract with Hyderabad in IPL but few mediocre performances meant that he hasn’t been a part of the league since 2015.

However, Vihari’s outstanding form in domestic cricket was the reason behind his call-up. The right-hander has an impressive average of 59.45 which is also the highest first-class average across the world right now. It is even more than the first class average of Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

He had a great season with the bat scoring 752 runs at an average of 94.00 in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy. The season marked Vihari’s maiden triple-century in a league match against Odisha and the cherry on top was his brilliant 183 from 327 balls against Vidarbha in the Irani Cup.

He continued his form for India A and scored 148 against South Africa A in Bengaluru. This was his second century, apart from two half-centuries, in his last five first-class innings.

He was also one of the four players to be selected for both the 50-overs and four-day squads for India A’s tour of England. Vihari finished the tri-series with 253 runs in three innings including a 147 against West Indies A.

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