Indian middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari battled pain and injuries, to produce a memorable draw against Australia in the Sydney Test. Vihari played a severe hamstring injury and faced 161 balls for his unbeaten 23.
Now the Andhra Pradesh cricketer has revealed that he got an appreciation message from none other than the legendary Rahul Dravid after the completion of the third Test.
While speaking to Sports Today, VIhari revealed the special message he received from Dravid.
“Even after the Sydney Test, it was nice of him to send me a text. He said ‘Very well done; you did a great job’. That is the person he is, and I respect him for that,” said Vihari.
The 27-year-old improved his skills in India-A side under the guidance of Dravid. He explained how the former India skipper developed players like him, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal and others by giving crucial tips and raising their confidence level.
“I mean, after getting picked in the India A side. Those who were there in the side, Siraj, Saini, Shubman, Mayank, everyone who were part of that side played a lot of cricket together in India A. Also, in the last 3-4 years, we played many India A tours, and he (Rahul Dravid) was the coach.”
“I don’t think we played so many India A tours before. So that bridged the gap between the Ranji Trophy and the Indian team. We made progress quickly. That’s the reason why we are playing our first game or the second game; we are ready for the challenge. We are not behind any other players. He made it possible,” the Kakinadaa-born added.
After the Gabba heroics, many fans and experts of the game took to social media thanking Dravid for his contribution in developing the next generation of talent. Vihari supported the sentiments, stating the Indian cricket icon deserves all the praise he got after the epic series down under.
“As youngsters, we have to give a lot of credit to him, the way he let us express our game. When we play under him, it always feels like he is more of a mentor than a coach. He is always there whenever we need him. Even in the last Australia tour, I made a call to him, saying ‘Sir, I am making my debut’. He said ‘you have done exceptionally well in Ranji Trophy, in India A, so you’re ready to play’. That’s the confidence he gave me,” Vihari added further.