Young cricketer Hanuma Vihari received his Test cap on Friday before the start of the fifth Test match between India and England at Oval. Hanuma Vihar has now become the 292nd cricketer to represent India in the longest format of the game.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 7, 2018
However, the decision to include Hanuma Vihari and not Karun Nair has received plenty of flak on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
India’s selectors have just made a damning statement of what they think of Karun Nair as a player. Very very hard on him. Would love to know what he was told when the team was announced.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 7, 2018
Indian team is losing in England because of Virat Kohli’s overweening attitude. He plays favourites. Not picking Pujara in the first test, playing an unfit Ashwin in the 4th, and picking up Vihari ahead of Karun Nair are but a few of these examples. Great batsman, poor leader.
— Sanjay Dixit संजय (@Sanjay_Dixit) September 7, 2018
India A capt Karun Nair who scored an unbeaten treble hundred against England hasn’t batted in the nets at The Oval & no journalist writes about it. They all seem to be interested in off the field match between Ganguly & Shastri. This is what modern cricket journalism is. Sad
— Makarand Waingankar (@wmakarand) September 7, 2018
It’s quite intriguing that no one is talking about the possibility of playing Karun Nair…If India wants to play 6 batsmen, he should be the first choice. If bowling a little is the deal-breaker, it’s another matter… #EngvInd
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 7, 2018
Why Hanuma Vihari ahead of Karun Nair is the question I would have asked in the presser ?
— Makarand Waingankar (@wmakarand) September 7, 2018
If Karun Nair retires from Test cricket today he will retire with the best Test average in the history of Indian cricket. Over 60))
— shishir hattangadi (@shishhattangadi) September 7, 2018
Why was Karun Nair part of the squad all along? https://t.co/UU0ww1m5ye
— cricBC (@cricBC) September 7, 2018
I have immense respect for, and am a huge fan too, of both Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. But the selection of Hanuma Vihari ahead of Karun Nair is the mother and father of the duo’s baffling selections. Sorry! #ENGvIND
— Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) September 7, 2018
Can Hanuma Vihari make the number 6 spot his own? Give him a run of a few games at least. At the same time spare a thought for Karun Nair!
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) September 7, 2018
If Hanuma Vihari was picked ahead of Karun Nair because the team management thinks he has a better defensive technique, I support the selection. Cricket merit over protocol any day for me.#ENGvsIND
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) September 7, 2018
Hanuman Vihari getting a test match ahead of Karun Nair is perplexing. Karun must have been singularly unimpressive in the nets. Reminds me of 1986, where when Chetan Sharma was injured, Madan Lal who was playing League cricket was preferred to Prabhakar who was in the squad.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) September 7, 2018
I guess Karun Nair is not in the good books of @imVkohli probably because Karun Nair supported @anilkumble1074 & his coaching style. Whatever is happening right now within the Indian camp is not good for the future of Indian cricket. Someone needs to act fast & end this#ENGvIND
— Jo¥ (@Eclipse0444) September 7, 2018
Anyone who tells me that Hanuma Vihari has been picked because he has a bradman-like batting average…I will say rubbish. Vihari has been picked only because he can bowl bit of off-spin. Karun Nair has all the reasons to get furious now. @BCCI https://t.co/OSkLss9gRw
— G. S. Vivek (@GSV1980) September 7, 2018
Would not like to be Karun Nair right now. Sat through the Afghanistan Test and now the England series. Not considered when finally India adds a batsman.
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) September 7, 2018
— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) September 7, 2018
I would not want to be Karun Nair today. Surely the management sees something in Vihari that they do not see in Karun. Vihari scores well could mean end of Karun’s chances because there is a home tour coming up before Australia. #ENGvIND
— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) September 7, 2018
Shame on @BCCI for selecting Hanuma Vihari ahead Karun Nair. Benefits of having MSK Prasad from Andhra as a selector.
Teluguites are so regionalistic
— Sharath M (@sharathMiyer) September 7, 2018
If there’s one major reason why India lost this series it has to be due to poor team selection! Not sure if the team management is biased to wards a few players. Can’t believe KL Rahul has not been dropped and Vihari being selected ahead of Karun Nair! #SHOCKER #ENGvsIND
— Adil Mohammed (@Adil_888) September 7, 2018
4 changes for the 5th test : Prithvi Shaw : KL Rahul, Jadeja : Ashwin, Umesh Yadav : Hardik Pandya and Karun Nair : Dhawan. Opening by Prithvi Shaw and Pujara. Another important change – sack Ravi Shastri. Get back Kirsten or Kumble , who gave us results. Let Virat be accountable
— Ramesh Mani (@RameshM39773073) September 2, 2018
The decision to ignore Karun Nair was also heavily criticised by Sunil Gavaskar during the pre-match show.
Meanwhile, Joe Root opted to bat first after winning the toss in the fifth Test match at Oval.