“When I was batting overnight on 42, I didn’t sleep well,” Vihari said. “All I was thinking about was how to get a big score. Really happy that I was able to get my first ton. At lunch I was on 84, and it took me a while to get to a hundred. Credit to the bowler, they were bowling really well. It was challenging and I am really happy.”
That Vihari got a hundred was also down in large part to the support he received from Ishant Sharma. India had been reduced to 302/7, with Vihari on 62, when Ishant joined him at the crease. By the time the stand was broken, Vihari had moved well past the century, batting on 109, and their eighth-wicket partnership had realised 112, with Ishant having contributed 57 - his maiden Test fifty - off 80 balls, an ICC report said.
“Credit should go to Ishant,” Vihari said. “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 also dedicated the hundred to his late father, a long-time wish of his, and hoped to have made him proud. “My dad passed away when I was 12,” he said. “So I had decided, when I get my first international century, I want to dedicate it to him. Today is an emotional day and I hope he’s proud.”
After Vihari’s knock, it was time for Jasprit Bumrah to take centre stage. India’s premier fast bowler ripped through the West Indies line-up with a hat-trick in the ninth over of their innings. By the time he wound up for the day, Bumrah had snared 6/16, and West Indies were staring down the barrel at 87/7.
“We bowled brilliantly and Bumrah was exceptional,” Vihari said. “We have to get them all out as soon as possible. Any opposition will tell that they fear facing Bumrah. We enjoy watching him bowl and I know he has a long career ahead.” (UNI)