India middle-order batter Hanuma Vihari might have only made 40 runs in the second innings of the ongoing Second Test match between India and South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, but the weight of that knock was immense as it got him applause from cricket fans and pundits alike on social media.
India resumed their innings on day three hoping to build on the slender lead they had achieved and Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane carried on from where they had left on day two. Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, and Marco Jansen came for pasting as Cheteshwar Pujara raced to his half-century in just 62 balls, which is his fastest in Test cricket.
Rahane matches Pujara stroke for stroke, as the duo added 111 runs for the third wicket before Rabada had Rahane caught behind by Kyle Verreynne for 58 runs in 78 balls with 8 fours and 1 six. Pujara followed soon for 53 in 86 balls with 10 fours, getting out to Rabada as well. Rishabh Pant played a horrible shot to get out for a duck, becoming Rabada’s third wicket in this innings.
Hanuma Vihari To The Rescue Once Again
It was once again left to Hanuma Vihari to shepherd the lower order and take India to a decent lead and help set a difficult target for the home team. Ravichandran Ashwin made 16 runs, but Vihari found an able partner in Shardul Thakur, who made 28 runs in 24 balls with five fours and one six to his name.
Jasprit Bumrah also smacked Kagiso Rabada for a six and got a standing ovation from the Indian camp in the dressing room. However, Vihari farmed strike during his 40* innings in which he hit 6 fours in 84 balls faced. He tried some fancy shots as well, trying to retain the strike as much as possible.
In the end, Lungi Ngidi castled Mohammed Siraj for a duck on the second ball he faced during a decent, but short partnership as India folded for 266 runs. The KL Rahul-led side set a target of 240 runs for Dean Elgar and his men to chase down to win the Test match and level the series 1-1.
Hanuma Vihari was praised by netizens on social media for his guts and fighting knock, which helped India gain a significant lead.
Here are some of the tweets on Hanuma Vihari:
Excellent from Vihari. Great example of why you stay in and scrape out as many as possible. India would be relatively happy with what they have set South Africa. Will need a top effort to get these
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 5, 2022
Neat little stuff from Vihari. He has locked one end, and Ashwin and Thakur have made use of it and scored 44 off 38 at the other.
— Alagappan Vijayakumar (@IndianMourinho) January 5, 2022
Well played Vihari Crucial runs! Think we’ve got enough. #SAvsIndia
— Rahul Ravindran (@23_rahulr) January 5, 2022
Hanuma Vihari shares a unique bond with Mohammad Siraj, as his first-ever state captain. Often Siraj would go to him for inspiration during his maiden Test series last year in Australia. This little stand of theirs may have taken India from a good to a very good position #SAvIND
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) January 5, 2022
Hanuma Vihari played a brilliant knock of 40 unbeaten. Got an opportunity after a long time, missed out in the first innings, but gave his best with lower order batters in the 2nd innings.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 5, 2022
Hanuma Vihari's 40(84)* with the tail is better than any half century scored today. Hope the management don't get it confused in the next match.
— Heisenberg (@internetumpire) January 5, 2022
Terrific batting from Vihari, whenever he gets opportunity, just utilizes and play crucial knocks for India.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 5, 2022
South Africa were bowling like they are just waiting for the tail to get out themselves lol. Good job Vihari saab. #SAvIND
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) January 5, 2022
23*(161) at SCG and 40*(84) at Johannesburg in last 3 innings by Hanuma Vihari in Test cricket.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 5, 2022
Hanuma Vihari is the quintessence of test cricket. The leading light in case of collapse. Absolutely bewitching to watch #vihari bat. It would be unfair to bench him again. He deserves a permanent position in the team. #bcci #vihari #INDvsSA
— Subho (@SubhodeepDebna6) January 5, 2022
Rahane to Pujara after watching Vihari's innings:
"Chilla Chilla Ke Plan Bata De Sabko" pic.twitter.com/scO17tS5RB
— Rajeesh Nair (@iRajeeshNair) January 5, 2022
Vihari >>>> rahane >>>>>>pujara
— Madhan Roy (@JaykarMohan) January 5, 2022
— Shivansh Bansal (@shivanshb07) January 5, 2022
Supremely impressive knock from Hanuma Vihari – has looked completely untroubled. Looked good in the first innings too #INDvsSA
— Srinath (@srinathb) January 5, 2022
Fantastic innings @Hanumavihari clearly has given India the edge. 240 chase you have to fancy this Indian bowling attack to win this one. @cheteshwar1 @ajinkyarahane88 Vihari and @imShard key contributions. #INDvsSA
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 5, 2022
Well fought Hanuma Vihari #SAvsIndia
— Abhi and Niyu (@abhiandniyu) January 5, 2022
Vihari deserves to play in Cape Town
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) January 5, 2022
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