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IPL 2019 | I will try to learn as much as I can from Ricky Ponting, says Hanuma Vihari

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IPL 2019 | I will try to learn as much as I can from Ricky Ponting, says Hanuma Vihari

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Bastab K Parida


Hanuma Vihari has stated that he is very happy to be a part of Delhi Capitals and will try to learn as much as he can from head coach Ricky Ponting. Vihari, who has been a part of the Indian Test team lately, has also added that he will try to tick the T20 boxes as well in the ongoing edition.

One of the three original franchises to never have laid their hands on the trophy, Delhi Daredevils changed their name to Delhi Capitals as part of a partial change in ownership, hoping it would help them change their sagging fortunes that had deserted them over the years. However, with the return of Shikhar Dhawan for which Delhi lost three of their players to Sunrisers Hyderabad (Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar and Shahbaz Nadeem), their batting has become a bit stronger and with the presence of Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, one could easily hope that the team has all the balance required to finally pull themselves out of the horrid mess that they have found themselves in over the years.

While the triumvirate of Shaw, Iyer and Pant giving the style to the batting order, Hanuma Vihari - a batsman of traditional mould - adds substance to it, and lest a top-order collapse happens, he has it in him to arrest the slide like the way he did against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2015 edition of the IPL, where his superb half-century helped the Sunrisers to a win. In his comeback to the league after a three-year-long hiatus, Vihari seems composed yet happy that he is a part of an exciting line-up.

“It is really exciting for me to be a part of the Delhi team. The team has a lot of Indian youngsters and considering we play in the India A set-up a lot together, we understand each other well. That will help and make us gel well,” Vihari told SportsCafe in an exclusive interview.

While the line-up should give them flexibility with their choice of overseas players, removing the reliance on overseas batsmen that plagued them last season, one of the major influences for them will be their backroom staff. With Sourav Ganguly joining Ricky Ponting as a backroom staff, players will have the reliance of going to them for advice and Vihari wants to use that as a perfect opportunity to better his own game.

“Ponting is obviously a legend of the game and has a very good cricketing brain. Whatever suits my game, I will try to pick that up from him and implement in my own game. Spending time with him gives me an opportunity to analyse my own game and take away whatever I could to better my own game. I am looking forward to that opportunity and hopefully, that will help me reach mini targets that I have kept for myself for this IPL.”

The Andhra Pradesh player, who made his India Test debut last September, is always known for his long innings - a trait that gave him recognition as a solid defensive batsman. But his limited-overs cricket has never reached the peak as it was the case in the four-day format. However, he is determined to improve that side of his batting in this IPL.

“I take pride in scoring runs and be there in the middle for as much time as possible in the domestic cricket and by doing that, I end up scoring more runs. It has always been my process in domestic cricket and I didn’t change in the longest format of the game. In the IPL, obviously, the format demands something else from the cricketers and as of now, I am focusing on ticking those aspects as well,” the Capitals player added.

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