India batter Hanuma Vihari revived memories of his heroics and determination during the third Test of the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia when he batted left-handed after sustaining a fracture on his left wrist during his side Andhra Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.
Though in 2023, Hanuma does not find himself in the squad for the BGT trophy defence starting from February 9 onwards at home in Nagpur, his sheer grit and gutsy batting left many in awe. During that famous Sydney Test, he had batted with a torn hamstring to force a draw while chasing a target of 407 runs. He had played a knock of 23 runs in 161 deliveries and had collaborated with all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin to help India escape defeat and finish the match at 334/5.
This time around, he returned to the crease after injuring his left wrist while trying to fend off a bouncer from pacer Avesh Khan. After coming back, he batted with a left-handed stance in order to protect his left-arm, which would have faced the bowler if he continued playing as the right-hander he is.
He was at 16 off 37 balls when he went off the field and the X-Ray revealed that he had a fracture and was told that it would keep him out of action for five to six weeks. The team management also decided that Hanuma would bat only if needed.
Andhra Pradesh looked pretty well on day two and were 323/2 at one point with centuries coming from Ricky Bhui (149) and Karan Shinde (110). But a collapse left AP at 353/9.
At this point, came back Hanuma to the crease with his left-hand fully taped. He tapped deliveries using only his right hand.
He put on 26 run stand in 10 overs with number nine Lalith Mohan. AP was bundled out for 379. Vihari ended with a score of 27 runs in 57 balls. He even struck Avesh for two boundaries.
Towards the session’s end, Mohan kept the strike in order to prevent any damage to Hanuma’s wrist.
Vihari has had a mixed Ranji season. He has scored 475 runs so far in 13 innings at an average of 39.58, with two half-centuries. (ANI)
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