With Rohit Sharma out of the New Zealand tour with a calf injury, a place has opened up at the top of India's Test-match batting line-up.
With Shaw and Mayank Agarwal in the squad and could possibly open for India and with KL Rahul not included in the 15-member squad, his position opens up.
Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, who are expected to fight it out for the opener's slot in the first Test against the Black Caps, came out with disappointing performances as they were out for a duck each on the opening day of the warm-up game. "A long walk by the Blue Springs and a whole lot of fun with the teammates, that's how Team India spent the day off ahead of the Test series", the BCCI tweeted along with the photos from the scenic spot - known for being one of the purest water sources in Putaruru. Hanuma Vihari has opened before, at the MCG, and while he only made 8 and 13, he spent 80 minutes at the crease in the first innings, and almost an hour in the second, helping see off the new ball and earning the praise of his captain Virat Kohli. Pujara was batting on 54 (159) at that time and Vihari was on 39 (118).
In what can be seen as a worrying sign for the Indian Test team, youngsters Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, and Shubman Gill failed to impress with the bat on Friday in the ongoing practice match against New Zealand XI. He certainly hasn't heard any such talk just yet.
"As a player, I am prepared to bat anywhere". "As of now, I've not been informed [of] anything. As I said before as well if the team requires me to bat wherever I am ready to bat", said Vihari, who retired after scoring 101 off 182 balls as quoted by Republic.
Whenever he bats, there's a sense of calmness about Vihari, a sense that he has a plan and won't be swayed from it too easily. They love facing the new ball, enjoy a challenge.
This wicket had extra bounce, more than what I've experienced in New Zealand before.
Vihari said he was pleased to have worked out a way to adjust to testing conditions.
"At the global level, you have to be thinking on your feet", he said.
"I think I have grown as a player, I have grown in confidence and in other aspects of my game". All the batsmen were dismissed by Scott Kuggeleijn and as a result, the side was reduced to 5/3 in the seventh over.
Boult broke his hand in Australia but trained with the national side earlier this week in Mt. Maunganui before they wrapped up a 3-0 sweep in the one-day series over India and should play the first test that starts on February 21 in Wellington. "When the wicket flattens out, they try to experiment with the short balls and I'm sure even Neil Wagner will come up with the same ploy".
The Kiwis had lost their last Test series in Australia where they were whitewashed in the three-match rubber. We've got that good experience in India A as well. "It's good exposure for us".
He expects to play New Zealand's domestic one-day final on Sunday and indicated the limited overs series against Australia in March was a more realistic target for his worldwide return. Vihari expects more of the same in the Test series.
"Maybe we will get pitches like these because New Zealand's strength is their fast bowling". Not that it's easy to make any of the sides, but they've been exceptional for so long, and especially the fast-bowling attack, that's been very settled for a long time. "We are prepared for it".