After warming up with a century on the opening day of India’s three-day warm-up game against a New Zealand XI, Hanuma Vihari said he had to make quick adjustments to his game, in the face of incisive bowling from the home team.
Vihari walked in with the Indians in a crisis, having lost three of their top four with five runs on the board, and Ajinkya Rahane when the score was 38. But Vihari’s arrival kept the New Zealand XI bowlers at bay, as he buckled down for a 195-run fifth-wicket stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (93).
"At the international level, you have to be thinking on your feet," Vihari said. "And I was quick enough to adjust my game according to the conditions, so whenever I bat next, New Zealand or Australia, wherever it is, it is up to me what I want to do with my game and how quickly I adjust and I'm happy that I could do it."
India all out for 263 in the practice game against New Zealand XI.— BCCI (@BCCI) February 14, 2020
Vihari 101 retd, Pujara 93 pic.twitter.com/8h0uONqFpx
Vihari experienced some familiar tactics from the New Zealanders over the course of the innings, most notably a burst of short-pitched bowling. Having also faced it during the A team’s outings in the country, Vihari knows he should expect more of the same in the two-Test series against Kane Williamson’s men.
"We experienced that [in India A's four-dayer series] against New Zealand A as well," Vihari said. "When the wicket flattens out, they try to experiment with the short balls and I'm sure even Neil Wagner will come up with the same ploy.
Another short ball gets a wicket for New Zealand XI. Saha tries to flick it but only manages to get a glove on it.— BCCI (@BCCI) February 14, 2020
"We've seen it before in the Australian series and the home series for them. We are prepared for it. We've got that good experience in India A as well. They did come up with short balls when we played against New Zealand A. Today as well they bowled quite a number of short balls. It's good exposure for us."
Vihari drew satisfaction from his performance against quality bowling on a pitch with a fair amount of grass on it. "Maybe we'll get pitches like these," he said, “because their [New Zealand's] strength is fast bowling. So maybe they'll give this much grass or a little less.
"They have a very experienced bowling attack, but it's good that we got some time in the middle and we experienced these conditions. They were tough and it's good to experience tough conditions before the series and we're happy with the way the day went."
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