Defending Ranji Trophy champion Madhya Pradesh didn’t see it coming. Then they did, at midday on Wednesday. In walked Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari, with a damaged left forearm to face seamer Avesh Khan, who gave him the fracture on Tuesday.
Vihari had retired harm on 16 after the blow on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Elite quarterfinal. Scans revealed a fracture that will put him out of motion for 4 to 5 weeks.
“There is no chance (he can bat). But knowing him, he might just walk out if he feels the team needs it. He has not agreed for a PoP (Plaster of Paris) yet and is managing with a cast for now,” an Andhra official stated.
Yet, Vihari did bat, however left-handed. The 29-year-old right-handed batter took a southpaw’s guard, with a singular marker to guard his fractured arm. The transfer appeared brave, and a press release of intent within the tough and tumble of home first-class cricket.
Vihari and acts of defiance are usually not strangers. Struggling with an injured hamstring, he hobbled however held on with Ravichandran Ashwin to assist India salvage a gritty draw in opposition to Australia at Sydney in 2021.
Vihari walked in after Avesh dismissed Prithvi Raj Yarra, leaving Andhra at 353 for 9, simply earlier than lunch. Avesh was the primary to have a fast peek on the Andhra dugout after taking Prithvi’s wicket. Surely, this was a wrap. But it wasn’t. Avesh shrugged and trudged again to his bowling mark as Vihari got here out.
There had been two balls to go within the Avesh over. The bowler appeared to have softened up, the chirps from the slip-cordon waned and the Andhra dugout couldn’t imagine what they had been witnessing.
Vihari noticed off the 2 deliveries: a block, and a depart outdoors the off-stump. Later, the left-handed Vihari performed an beautiful minimize to an Avesh supply along with his top-hand (proper) and the ball raced via level for 4. Whistles from the stands echoed all through the stadium as an upright Vihari swept off-spinner Saransh Jain via square-leg for 4.
Nineteen balls endured, Vihari, with an ready ally in Lalith Mohan, guided Andhra to lunch. The bravado of the ‘21 Sydney survivor, nonetheless, ended with only one ball within the second session. But a press release was made. Andhra posted 379 within the first-innings.
Vihari had prolonged the session by practically 40 minutes.
He defined the explanation for his gambit after shut of play. “My hand has a complete fracture. It’s on the forearm. The doctor had advised me not to bat and even our physio said I shouldn’t. But when the wickets were falling, I got an idea, ‘why not bat left-handed with a single hand?’
“You never know. Even if I faced 10-15 balls, even if it’s 10 runs extra, it would matter. Setting an example was my main intention. If I give up, then the team spirit will go down. But if I go out there in the middle, even if I don’t get any runs, get out first ball also, that’s not a problem. But me being there, setting an example was important for me,” Vihari instructed Sportstar.
While he didn’t take the sector later, stand-in captain Ricky Bhui was ably supported by his seamers who scalped 4 essential wickets and MP ended the day on 144, trailing by 235.
Vihari lauded the third-wicket stand between Bhui and Karan Shinde after his damage on Day 1. Bhui (149) and Shinde (110) placed on a 251-run partnership. However, after breaking the partnership, MP bowlers took seven wickets in an hour, leaving Andhra at 353 for 9, simply earlier than the scheduled lunch.
Vihari assessed the Holkar Stadium turf as a very good sporting wicket. “There’s something for the bowlers and batters can also find runs if they do well. We showed that with the way Ricky and Karan batted. I think it will remain the same tomorrow as well. It was a crucial partnership; 251 runs weren’t easy on this wicket. It’s not easy for the new batters as well, which was evident today.”
He stated it was crucial Andhra mustn’t lose depth and didn’t learn an excessive amount of right into a attainable first-innings lead.
“I don’t think the game will be decided by the first innings. It’s a five-day game. Every session is important. We have to ensure we get the (remaining) six wickets tomorrow and then bat well. Bat well and put them out of the game, that should be our gameplan. We shouldn’t rest with the first-innings lead.”
Source web site: sportstar.thehindu.com