Hanuma Vihari bats left-handed, holds off Avesh Khan & Co despite fractured forearm
After returning to bat, Vihari even hit two boundaries, including one off Avesh Khan
Hanuma Vihari rekindled memories of his SCG heroics on the second day of Andhra's Ranji Trophy quarter-final match against Madhya Pradesh in Indore, batting left-handed after fracturing his left forearm* to keep his team's first innings going.
In Sydney, Vihari batted with a torn hamstring to save the Test for India in collaboration with R Ashwin. This time, he returned to bat after having gone off when he fractured his left forearm while trying to fend off an Avesh Khan bouncer. Not just that, when he came back, he batted left-handed, to protect his left arm, which would have faced the bowler had he continued to bat right-handed.
Vihari was on 16 off 37 balls when he got hit and had to go for scans, where X-rays revealed a fracture. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that at the time, Vihari was told he would likely have to be out of action for four weeks. The team management decided he would bat only if required.
Do it for the team. Do it for the bunch.— Hanuma vihari (@Hanumavihari) February 1, 2023
Never give up!!
Thank you everyone for your wishes. Means a lot!! pic.twitter.com/sFPbHxKpnZ
For large parts of the opening day and the first hour on Wednesday's second day, Andhra looked like they had done well enough - courtesy centuries from Ricky Bhui (149) and Karan Shinde (110) - to allow Vihari to stay away. They were 323 for 2 at one stage. But soon after Bhui and Shinde fell, there was a collapse, and Andhra went from 328 for 4 to 353 for 9.
It was at this point that Vihari returned and took guard as a left-hand batter to protect his fractured forearm. With his left hand fully taped, he tapped deliveries back almost entirely using one hand, the right.
By lunch, Vihari had put on 26 runs in nearly ten overs with No. 9 Lalith Mohan, as Andhra progressed to 379 for 9. They were bowled out on that score first ball after lunch when Jain trapped Vihari lbw for 27.
Before lunch, Vihari managed to play out an entire Avesh over, and hit two more boundaries to go with his overnight tally of three, including a steer off Avesh to the point boundary. He even pushed offspinner Jain to point for his second boundary of the morning.
Vihari came back to bat in the second innings as well, with his side in all sorts of trouble. After securing a 151-run lead, Andhra were reduced to 76 for 9 in their second innings. With a plastered left arm, Vihari continued to bat left-handed and scored 15 off 16 balls, which included three fours before being bowled by offspinner Saransh Jain. Despite his innings, Andhra were skittled out for 93, giving MP a target of 245.
Vihari has had a mixed season, scoring 475 runs so far in 13 innings at an average of 39.58 with two half-centuries.
*GMT 1555 The article was amended after it was confirmed that the injury was to Vihari's forearm and not his wrist, and that the injury is expected to keep him out of action for four weeks.