Hanuma Vihari didn't hesitate to thank Ishant Sharma, with whom he shared a century stand for the eighth-wicket, for communicating with him the right things on his way to a maiden Test century in Jamaica on Saturday. Hanuma Vihari top-scored with 111 runs off 225 balls, including 16 boundaries, as India posted 416 after being asked to bat in the second Test against the West Indies. The 25-year-old batsman, who has played just five Tests for India, remembered his late father on the "emotional day" and dedicated his first Test hundred to him.
"Actually, my dad passed away when I was 12 so ever since, I have decided that when I play international cricket I want to dedicate my first hundred to him," Hanuma Vihari said.
"Today is an emotional day and I hope he is proud wherever he is and I'm really happy that I achieved that," he added.
Together with Ishant (57 off 80 balls), who scored his maiden fifty, Vihari shared 112 runs off 28.3 overs for the eighth wicket to frustrate the West Indies for a long time.
"Happy that I got a century and credit should go to Ishant. He looked more like a batsman today than me. The way he was going, we kept discussing what the bowler was doing and his experience really helped."
Vihari is gradually emerging as a reliable man for crisis situations in Test cricket.
"When I was batting overnight on 42, I did not sleep really well as my thoughts were obviously running on how to get a big score today. I'm really happy that I could get my first hundred, especially in those conditions. It gives me a lot of satisfaction," Vihari said.
After Ishant's dismissal, India's innings folded for 416, with Holder dismissing Vihari for his fifth wicket of the innings.
"I was batting at 84 during lunchtime, then it took me hard to get to the nineties. We have to give credit to the bowlers as well. Even though we scored 416 runs that do not show the way they bowled," Vihari said.
"I knew they would come hard in the first session because that's their best chance to get us out early. They did get a wicket early as Rishabh getting out on the first ball.
"I just wanted to bat patiently and wait for the balls which are in my area."
He praised pacer Jasprit Bumrah after he became only the third Indian to claim a Test hat-trick, and effort that left the West Indies tottering at 87 for seven in their first innings.
"We bowled brilliantly, to be honest. The way Bumrah and all the other bowlers bowled, we stuck to our guns.
"Tomorrow we don't know what the game plan is. So, the first thing will be to get them out as soon as possible. Then the management will decide whether we bat or bowl," Vihari said.
(With PTI inputs)