India batter returns to the scene where his career began
Hanuma Vihari will move back to Hyderabad from Andhra for the upcoming domestic season in India. Vihari had begun his career with Hyderabad, and represented them from his debut in 2010-11 till the 2015-16 season. From 2016-17, he had moved to Andhra, and was the designated captain when available.
Vihari, who has played 12 Tests for India, made his international debut in September 2018, on India’s tour of England. The last Test he played was in Sydney in January this year, where he battled a torn hamstring to help earn a draw that had looked unlikely at one point. Vihari batted for 161 balls, spending almost four hours at the crease while making 23 not out, sharing in an unbroken stand with an-also injured R Ashwin, as the duo stayed together for 42.4 overs to thwart Australia and keep the series tied at 1-1 after the third Test. India would go on to earn a famous win at the Gabba in the fourth Test to claim a second successive series away against Australia.
In a statement on Twitter, Vihari said he was parting with Andhra on “good terms” and expressed pride at how the team had shaped up in his five years with them.
Vihari has played 39 first-class matches for Hyderabad, scoring 2990 runs at an average of 56.41, with nine centuries. He performed even better for Andhra, piling up 1741 runs in just 21 matches at an average of 62.17, including a highest score of 302*, against Odisha in the 2017-18 season.
While successful with Hyderabad, Vihari’s move to Andhra also coincided with an upturn in one-day form. He had played 29 List A games for Hyderabad, averaging 37.28 at a strike rate of 75.46. Those numbers went up to 38.90 and 83.26 in 25 games for Andhra. Both his List A hundreds in domestic List A games have also come for Andhra, with 135* against Rajasthan in 2017, and 169 against Mumbai in 2018.
In 27 T20 matches for Hyderabad, he had averaged 25.87 at a strike rate of 118.96, whereas in 17 T20 matches for Andhra, he averaged 24.87 at a considerably higher strike rate of 129.22.
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo