Hanuma Vihari returns with mixed feelings

Happy with his Sydney effort but sad to have missed the Brisbane victory

Hanuma Vihari, who was involved in a magnificent match-saving partnership with R. Ashwin in the third Test at Sydney of the just-concluded Australian series, says he has mixed emotions.

“I feel happy and proud to (have) been involved in a stand with Ashwin which saved the Test for India and kept its hopes alive in the series. But, at the same time, I feel gutted that I was not there for the final Test when the Indian team recorded a historic series win,” the 27-year-old Vihari told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Speaking from Bengaluru where he will be reporting at the NCA for his hamstring injury, which ruled him out of the final Test, Vihari said when he looks at the bigger picture of the whole series, he is glad to have contributed in his own way for the team’s eventual success story.

“It is a great feeling to play such an important innings with the hamstring injury causing acute pain. We had no option but to go for a draw because of injuries. It was one of those efforts from my side which has a greater value than a Test century for me. Our effort ensured that India went to Brisbane with hopes of winning the series.

“We always knew it was one of those freak performances (bowled out for 36 in the first Test in Adelaide).

“Essentially, after the first Test debacle, we looked at the series as a three-match series to be mentally fresh for the bigger challenges ahead,” Vihari said. He said it was one of the greatest series wins ever. “Full credit to the way the young bowlers performed. They know how to bowl with the red ball at this level because of the India-A exposure tours,” he said.

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