Sunil Gavaskar has stated that he was not surprised with Hanuma Vihari’s omission from the India Test squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand. The former Indian cricketer further added that not featuring in the IPL could have been a huge factor for Vihari being sidelined.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced a 17-member India Test squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand. Ajinkya Rahane has been assigned to lead the side in the Kanpur Test, whereas Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the first game, will return for the second match in Mumbai. Newly-appointed India T20I captain Rohit Sharma has been rested for the Test series, so too are Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah.
However, Hanuma Vihari has beeen excluded, and that has opened doors for fuming debates between fans and experts. Vihari, who averages 32.84 in the longest format, played a pivotal role in saving the historic Sydney Test in Australia earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar stated that he was not surprised with the middle-order batsman’s exclusion from the Test squad. The former India captain further added that lack of cricket in the last four months, and not featuring in IPL could have been a major reason behind Vihari’s snub.
“I really was not surprised to be honest because he hasn’t played any cricket in the interim. He hasn’t played in the IPL so hasn’t had any cricket under his belt in the last three or four months. On the other hand, the others who have been selected have had some cricket, not necessarily Test cricket, so maybe that’s the reason why they came into the picture,” Gavaskar told Sports Today.
“Also, a lot of times we have seen over the years that the performances in the IPL have invariably been the ones that nudge the selection committee so that seems to have happened. Hanuma Vihari hasn’t played a single IPL game so out of sight, out of mind,” he added.
Vihari, who was not included in the India-New Zealand Test series, was later added to the India A squad, which will tour South Africa for three unofficial Tests in Bloemfontein between November 23 and December 9.