Virat Kohli reveals why India played Hanuma Vihari: The Indian captain opened up on receiving criticism regarding team selection.
During the fourth day of the first Test of the ongoing India’s tour of West Indies at Antigua, India registered their biggest overseas victory after defeating West Indies by 318 runs. The victory means that India have gained an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, India captain Virat Kohli lauded his deputy in Ajinkya Rahane, who scored his 10th Test century – his first in the last two years. “Jinx [Ajinkya Rahane] excellent in both innings, KL [Rahul] solid in both innings too. Mention to [Hanuma] Vihari too. We had to come back in this game 3-4 times, so that is a positive,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
Declaring their innings on 343/7, India set the hosts a monumental target of 419 runs. While there were significant chances of the match entering the last day, it wasn’t to be as India bundled out West Indies for 100 in 26.5 overs. With bowling figures of 8-4-7-5, Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers for India.
Being asked about Bumrah, Kohli claimed him to be a “key factor” for India throughout the ICC Test Championship. The skipper also laid emphasis on managing Bumrah’s workload. “[Jasprit] Bumrah’s workload is most important which is why he didn’t play any white-ball games after the World Cup. He’ll be a key factor for us as long as the World Test Championship continues.
“[Mohammed] Shami is the same and Ishant [Sharma] is a banker, reliable always. Umesh [Yadav] is there too and Navdeep [Saini] is waiting in the wings. We are settled as our bowling options, but managing workloads will be important,” Kohli said.
Virat Kohli reveals why India played Hanuma Vihari
The Indian team management received severe criticism for not including limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma and premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in their Playing XI for this match. Being asked about the same, Kohli explained why Hanuma Vihari was picked ahead of Sharma for this Test.
“Combination is absolutely based on players who can provide more than one skill. It is about managing the resources that we have and feeling settled about it. There will always be opinions on a team selected.
“Vihari got a nod because combination is important. He’s an effective part-time bowler and helps us when we need to catch up with the over-rate,” Kohli added.
Happy for Rahane. But Jasprit Bumrah in the second innings was absolutely unplayable. Fiist Asian bowler to take a 5-for in all 4 countries – Australia, South Africa, England and West Indies .#INDvsWI
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 25, 2019
With 27 Test wins under his belt as a captain, Kohli has equaled former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s record. With 12 overseas wins, Kohli has also surpassed former captain Sourav Ganguly to become the best overseas captain for India (in terms of number of wins).
“It’s a blessing that I’m in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way, but nothing is possible without your team. I don’t think the credit can be taken away from the team at all. I am taking decisions, yes, but execution is done by others who raise their hand,” Kohli further added about his achievements as a Test captain.