England won the fifth Test against India at Edgbaston and leveled the series in majestic fashion. They pulled off their highest-ever run chase in Tests as in-form batters Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow smashed unbeaten centuries to take England over the line. Both Bairstow and Root remained unbeaten as the hosts registered a thumping 7-wicket victory over India at Edgbaston.
But the outcome of this Test could have been quite different if India’s new no.3 batter Hanuma Vihari had not fumbled an excellent opportunity on the fourth day’s play.
Mohammed Siraj troubled Bairstow with a couple of good deliveries, after which the England batter nicked one that went straight to Vihari at second slip. He was absolutely perplexed and couldn’t even manage to get his hands to the ball as it flew past for a boundary.
— Shribabu Gupta (@ShribabuG) July 5, 2022
Bairstow made Vihari and the Indian side pay for not taking the golden opportunity and obliterated the Indian bowling unit. He batted brilliantly, scoring 114 runs off 145 deliveries to seal India’s loss.
Since the incident happened, disgruntled Indian cricket fans have taken to Twitter to blame Vihari for India’s loss in the final test.
Here are some of the reactions of the Indian fans:
the main reason for losing last test match.. Hanuma vihari batting and main catch drop of bairstow..
Virat kohli poor performance.
After playing with no 10 batsman jadeja is playing dot ball only… And shreyas iyer.And indian management not to pick ashwin in place of shardul
— vivek (@vandv01) July 5, 2022
One dropped catch can cost you an entire match. 😅😅
— Maan (@ridin_dirty_) July 5, 2022
— Bidyut Gogoi (@bidyutbgogoi) July 4, 2022
@AskTheExpert_ The match went to England's side due to a dropped catch by Hanuma Vihari. He is the real culprit of the match.😡😡
— Vikram Sutar (@Vikram90809) July 5, 2022
Vihari who has had a terrible run on the international stage was unable to make a significant contribution to the series-deciding Test match. After being promoted to the number three position, the right-handed batter only managed to score 31 runs off 94 deliveries.
That Bairstow catch was tough but Hanuma Vihari is an absolute liability in the field, why was he fielding in the cordon when we had only two men there?
— Vipul Ghatol 🇮🇳 (@Vipul_Espeaks) July 4, 2022
He had a few solid performances when India toured Australia for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In Sydney, Vihari had a torn hamstring but it didn’t prevent him from battling the Australian bowlers for 42 overs alongside Ravichandran Ashwin. Their heroics secured a draw that seemed impossible and he became a national hero. However, Vihari has struggled to make any significant contributions since then for India both at home and overseas.
Hanuma Vihari has saved one game and hasn't done anything ever since. Dropped an important catch today.
— Ripson Lobo (@Ripsylobo12) July 4, 2022
India will continue to lament another wasted opportunity as they have now lost their past three overseas Tests, including two in South Africa, all by failing to defend totals. They have now slumped to the 4th position below Pakistan in the ICC World Test Championship standings following the Edgbaston loss and were also penalised for maintaining a slow over-rate against England at Edgbaston.