India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has said that Hanuma Vihari's place in the Test squad for South Africa will be uncertain after being dropped from the team for the New Zealand series. Vihari scored 151 runs at an average of 75.50 against South Africa A in two unofficial Tests recently.
India won a two match Test series at home against New Zealand recently by 1-0 after they won the Mumbai Test by 372 runs. Many first-choice players were rested by India and Shreyas Iyer was the biggest positive for India as he made an impressive Test debut becoming the first India cricketer to score a hundred and follow it up with a fifty on debut. Mayank Agarwal batted well in the second Test with scores of 150 and 62 in the second Test. He was the highest run-scorer in the series with 242 runs from two Test fixtures.
Hanuma Vihari was dropped from the squad and was sent to South Africa to play for India A team. Vihari scored 151 runs at a superb average of 75.50 against South Africa A in two unofficial Tests. Selectors will now have a selection headache as the first-choice players will be back in the squad. The middle order is already stacked with Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane. Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer have done well to be in contention for the selection. Dinesh Karthik believes that Hanuma Vihari's place in the squad for South Africa series is uncertain with senior guys returning to the team.
"This whole group of KL Rahul, Rohit, and Mayank will be the three openers, followed by Pujara, Rahane and Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill will be the batters. Don’t know what will happen to Hanuma Vihari. Ideally, he should have been part of the squad, but it is sad that he had to go and play for India A. Are they going to fit him in when he comes back to the squad? Because everyone here has done enough to hold on to their places," Karthik told Cricbuzz.
He also said that the batsmen who scored in 30s and 40s were set on tough wickets of Kanpur and Mumbai. He believes that they have done enough to hold their places.
"Even the ones getting 30s and 40s, which cannot be undervalued, have looked set on tough wickets. Kanpur and Mumbai were not easy wickets. They applied themselves and played good shots. So where does a Vihari fit in, that’s an important question. Has Iyer done enough to come and take over Vihari’s place," Karthik added.
India will tour South Africa for a series of three Tests and three ODIs starting from December 26.