Ajay Jadeja slams selectors for not picking Vihari for New Zealand Tests

Hanuma Vihari

Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja bashed the national selectors for not naming Hanuma Vihari for the New Zealand Test series, which gets underway in Kanpur from November 25. The second and last encounter of the series, which is a part of the World Test Championship, will be played in Mumbai from December 3.

Notably, Vihari performed impressively for the team during the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, in which India registered a historic 2-1 triumph despite the absence of a long list of first-choice players due to injuries or personal reasons.

Vihari’s fighting knock (23 off 161) in Sydney, while he was badly troubled with a hamstring injury, earned him huge praise as he helped India to secure an unlikely draw. He sat out of the next encounter in Brisbane and is yet to feature in a Test ever since. The Hyderabad-batter, who made his Test debut in 2018, is yet to play a Test in India, having played so far in England, Australia, West India, South Africa and New Zealand.

The 28-year-old, who has 624 runs at 32.84 in his 12-match Test career, has been added to India A squad for the South Africa tour, where India will play three Tests, as many ODIs and four T20Is in December-January.

“Vihari, poor guy. He did well. He has been with Indian cricket for a while, done well. What has he done wrong? Why should he go to India A tour, why can’t he play a Test match at home? Or don’t send him on A tour also. Somebody who has been with the team, now goes to India A tour and a new guy comes in. That’s messing with people’s minds,” explained Jadeja during an interaction with Cricbuzz.

Predicting the outcome of the coming series, Jadeja said that India would be the favourites, while he added that he is expecting turning tracks. “I don’t expect anything but turners that we have seen. Last few series at home, we have seen pitches that were not Test standard. New Zealand will be tested with their skills in how to play spin. I have no doubt India will send them packing.”