Hanuma Vihari is Delhi’s fresh factor

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Hanuma Vihari is expected to be a vital cog in changing fortunes of Delhi Capitals in the 2019 Indian Premier League

Hanuma Vihari was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2 crore at the IPL 2019 auction

Hanuma Vihari was bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2 crore at the IPL 2019 auction (@Hanumavihari Photo)

From being snubbed by Sunrisers Hyderabad in Indian Premier League 2013 to being wrapped up for Rs 2 crore at the auction by Delhi Capitals, Hanuma Vihari has come a long way as far as his career is concerned. The 25-year-old Hyderabad all-rounder is expected to be a vital cog in changing fortunes of a rechristened Delhi side.

Hanuma recalls taking no shortcuts since the day Sunrisers decided not to retain him after his dismal debut season six years back. The batting all-rounder believed IPL will come back to him if he achieves his real dream of playing in the national colours.

“After I got the sack in my second year of the IPL, I told myself I will never chase an IPL team. I knew IPL will be a by-product if I play for India. If your dream is to play for India, everything else will follow. One must perform at the first-class level and look to get into Indian side than taking shortcuts through IPL,” said Hanuma.

From scoring run at a Sir Don Bradman-like average in Ranji to a splendid debut in testing conditions of England – which was followed by an equally brilliant show in Australia – Hanuma has surely proved his credential in Test cricket. The Capitals’ new recruit continued from where he left Down Under by slamming two centuries in the Irani Cup last month.

“Starting from England then carrying it to Australia and then coming back and scoring two hundreds in Irani Cup. Scoring runs in domestic cricket was as important for me as it was at the international level because this is where I started. Last six months have been wonderful for me,” he said.

Despite his success in the longest format, his credentials in the shorter versions of the game are still in doubt. Hanuma himself admitted he has a point to prove at the IPL that he belongs to all formats and not just Tests.

“I feel if a player is technically strong, he can play in all formats by changing his mind frame accordingly. I feel IPL comes as an opportunity for me to find myself a spot in the remaining formats of the game with the Indian team,” said Hanuma.

Despite his optimism to do well in T20, his performance in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was nothing superficial and was criticised for his low strike rate. Yet, he has the chance to change all that and step up his game when Delhi take on Mumbai Indians at Wankhede on March 24.

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