Bears sign Vihari to cover for Malan

Hanuma Vihari has made 12 Test appearances for India, most recently the series win in Australia, after being bowled out for just 36 in the first Test at Adelaide

Warwickshire have signed India Test batsman Hanuma Vihari as short-term cover for their delayed main overseas signing Pieter Malan.

The Bears have now turned instead to Vihari, 27, for the early rounds.

But he must go through quarantine and will not feature until next week’s game with Nottinghamshire at the earliest.

Warwickshire director of cricket Paul Farbrace said:external-link “Hanuma will arrive in the UK on Thursday afternoon.

“We hope that this gives time for him to do his six days quarantine and to feature in next week’s game with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, subject to receiving negative Covid tests.

“He’s a high-quality batsman, and an effective off-spinner, who has been part of two India Test series victories in Australia. He comes to Warwickshire with an outstanding record in the first-class game.

“Our young batsman are going to learn a huge amount from playing and training with someone of Hanuma’s calibre.

“We’re also very grateful to Hanuma for stepping in at such short notice to cover Pieter Malan whilst we await confirmation of visa and his safe entry to the UK from South Africa.”

Warwickshire’s season got under way with a home Championship game against Derbyshire at Edgbaston on Thursday.

They had England’s Dom Sibley back to open with captain Will Rhodes, in his first Championship game as skipper.

But, following the retirement of Ian Bell, the rest of their top order is youthful – Rob Yates (21), Sam Hain (25), Matthew Lamb (24) and wicketkeeper Michael Burgess (26).

Vihari’s vital statistics

Vihari has now played in 12 Tests since his debut against England in 2018, including a best score of 111 against the West Indies in 2019.

He played the first three matches in the series win in Australia over the winter, helping to save the third Test before being left out for the series decider at The Gabba.

He has made 7,094 runs in 90 first-class matches at an impressive average of 56.75.

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