Team India fielding coach R Sridhar believes that Hanuma Vihari is Cheteshwar Pujara’s apprentice in the group.

Hanuma Vihari scored an unbeaten 23 off 161 balls with a torn hamstring to assist India conserve the Sydney Test. Batting for over 43 overs, he stiched an unbeaten 62-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin for the 6th wicket.

Speaking highly about Hanuma Vihari’s skill-set, R Sridhar told Cricketnext:

” We all understand Vihari remains in the mould of a Pujara. We always identified him as Pujara’s apprentice. He’s always thought he’s somebody who can do what Pujara provides for Indian cricket. He has actually got the personality, concentration and skill-set. He’s one of the better gamers of spin in the nation.”

Explaining Hanuma Vihari’s injury, R Sridhar stated that the 27-year-old’s hamstring snapped because fielding in the forward short leg for 3 successive Tests took a toll on his body.

The injury prevented him from playing any additional part in the series and has also ruled him out of the very first 2 Tests versus England.

R Sridhar further explained how Hanuma Vihari’s injury was a true blessing in camouflage in Sydney. He mentioned the example of VVS Laxman’s match-winning knocks in Mohali and Colombo, where the previous batsman battled discomfort to get rid of the odds.

“Discomfort constantly draws out the very best in you. I was talking with (VVS) Laxman recently, about how he played in Mohali (against Australia) and in Colombo (against Sri Lanka) in severe discomfort and won matches for India. He said discomfort constantly brings the best out of you, assists you focus more. That day, that pain for Vihari was probably a true blessing in camouflage in hindsight. He had the ability to concentrate against some extremely great quality fast bowling. He pulled it off for the team. He himself stated he owed it for the team,” R Sridhar included.

In Sydney, Hanuma Vihari scored just 6 off his very first 100 balls – the second-lowest score by any batsman to have played 100 shipments. England’s John Murray scored three from the first 100 balls he had faced.