India vs New Zealand 2021-22: Sunil Gavaskar explains reason for Hanuma Vihari's non-selection in Tests
India and New Zealand clash in a two-Test series from November 25. Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari has not made it to the Test squad, as Sunil Gavaskar analyses the reason behind it.
India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and a couple of Tests, starting Wednesday. As for the Tests, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already announced the squad. However, one of the notable omissions from the squad happens to be Hanuma Vihari.
With many top players like Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah being rested, it was expected that Vihari would be back in the Test fray, having last played a Test during the tour of Australia earlier this year. Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar has explained that lack of cricket, including his absence in the Indian Premier League (IPL), might have been the reason for his axe.
"To be honest, I wasn't really surprised, as he hasn't played a lot of cricket recently. He did not play in the IPL either. Therefore, he hasn't played competitive cricket in the past three to four months. However, as far as the ones who have been selected are concerned, they have had some competitive cricket of late, putting them at an advantage ahead of him," he told Sports Tak.
"Also, taking the recent trend into account, the IPL performance of late has influenced the selectors to go for the player. With no IPL for Vihari, he has become out of sight and out of mind for the selectors," he added. His performance in Australia was not impressive, scoring just 72 runs in five innings at a sparse average of 18.00.
India's Test squad for NZ series: Ajinkya Rahane (c), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna