New Delhi. Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar has given his opinion after Hanuma Vihari was dropped from India’s upcoming Test series against New Zealand. The BCCI recently announced the team for the two-Test series against New Zealand. Hanuma Vihari was not given a place in this team, after which the selectors had to face a lot of criticism. Sunil Gavaskar, however, admitted that Hanuma Vihari has been dropped for not playing enough cricket in the last few months.
Sunil Gavaskar was of the opinion that since Hanuma Vihari did not play in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), he is ‘out of sight’ of the national selectors and hence he is ‘out of mind’. Apart from this, the 72-year-old veteran said that performance in IPL has often affected selection in the national team.
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He said in a conversation with Sports Today, ‘I am not surprised to be honest, as he has not played any cricket in the meantime. He hasn’t played in the IPL, so he doesn’t have any cricket in his account in the last three or four months. On the other hand, the others who have been selected have some cricket, not necessarily Test cricket, so that’s probably why they came into the picture.
He further said, ‘Also we have seen many times over the years that performance in IPL has always been something that affects the selection committee. It seems that has happened. Hanuma Vihari has not played a single IPL match, so is out of mind. Meanwhile, the selectors have included Hanuma Vihari in the India A squad led by Priyank Panchal, which will play three matches against South Africa at the Mangong Oval in Bloemfontein. However, sources are being quoted as saying that the selectors wanted Hanuma Vihari to be match-ready for India’s upcoming tour of South Africa.
India’s tour of South Africa begins on Friday, December 17 with Test matches in Johannesburg, Centurion and Cape Town. Hanuma Vihari last played international cricket during India’s tour of Australia in January. Thereafter, he played for Warwickshire in the County Championship. He played four games and scored unbeaten 0, 8, 32, 52, 8, 0, 24 and 43. Hanuma Vihari has played 12 Tests for India, scoring 624 runs with one century and four half-centuries.