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Hanuma Vihari

'I want to keep it simple' – Vihari explains his bowling approach

Aus v Ind, 2nd Test Day 1, reaction

Hanuma Vihari, predominantly a batsman but also a bowler of serviceable off-spin, returned figures of 2/53 on day one of the second Test between India and Australia, said he "tried to keep it tight" with the ball and help "give the seamers a rest".

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Australia added 112 runs for the first wicket before India bounced back later in the day to claim six wickets across two sessions. Vihari was at the crux of the action, dismissing two set batsmen – Marcus Harris (70) and Shaun Marsh (45) – with his off-break bowling.

"I tried to bowl a little bit quicker than the first few deliveries because I was trying to hit the surface a little bit more and get that bounce from the wicket," said Vihari after the game on Friday, 14 December. "That was the main idea – try to keep it tight and give the seamers a rest.

Vihari returned figures of 2/53 with his right-arm off-break
Vihari returned figures of 2/53 with his right-arm off-break

"I have done a bit of bowling, even in the Ranji Trophy level, but more in limited overs. I know the idea of where I can make the batsmen play and I try to play with the fields I have. I want to keep it simple and try to do the job for the team. I know my role very well in the team.

"I try to keep it tight and my job is to make the batsman play a wrong shot I will do the same if I am required to bowl tomorrow or in the second innings."

It seemed like the hosts were running away with the game after the morning session, but India pulled it back well to restrict Australia to 277/6 at the end of the day's play. 

"Our only plan was to be disciplined. I think we did very well in that aspect. In all three sessions, we bounced back really well. They had so many plays and misses. It happens in the game. But overall I thought the bowlers put in a good effort," added Vihari.

"The wicket was a little slow at the start and improved its pace after lunch. The bowlers adjusted well to that."

As a batting unit, we will try to be as disciplined as possible, just how we did in the last match in the second innings

The 25-year-old stressed the importance of a maintaining discipline while batting and believed India should adopt a "ball by ball" approach in their innings.  

When asked if the pitch at the Perth Stadium will be a concern for them, he said "For us, the important thing is to not think about those aspects too much. You can only expect at a certain bounce and you have to play at that. If it is up and down, you can't do much about it. If we can keep that out of mind, we will be successful.

"As a batting unit, we will try to be as disciplined as possible, just how we did in the last match in the second innings and maintain the discipline we showed. You have to play ball by ball. That's what matters.

"The first one hour tomorrow will be very crucial. If we get them out for below 320, then we are right back in the game. If we bat well in the first innings, then we have a good chance. The first hour is crucial and I'm sure the pacers will come out [and do the job]," said Vihari.

Virat Kohli dished out a stunning effort at first slip to dismiss Peter Handscomb with a single-handed catch right after tea. It was an exquisite piece of fielding from the 30-year-old and Vihari lavished praise on his skipper, saying it was one of "those moments that change the course of the game".

"It was a blinder," he said. "Those are the moments that change the course of the game. We needed something after tea to change the rhythm of the game. We were lucky he had come to slip in the same over. It was meant to happen, I guess."


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