India's latest Test debutant Hanuma Vihari has credited captain Virat Kohli for helping him ease the nerves on debut against England.
The 24-year-old made his debut in the fifth Test at Oval and scored a gritty half-century in the first innings. However, he almost went numb when it came to facing the first ball at the international level - with Stuart Broad running with the cherry in hand.
"I was blank at that moment. It felt like a different world altogether — going out there to face James Anderson and Stuart Broad. I have been watching them on TV from a young age. And then to be suddenly facing them felt surreal,"
"It was difficult in the initial period. Kohli helped me a bit from the other end. He gave me few cues which helped me initially. He told me that this is the hardest conditions you will get in international cricket. Nothing comes close to this. If you go through this spell by Anderson and Broad, it will be a good experience in your first Test innings. The words gave me a lot of confidence," said Vihari, speaking to Firstpost.
"The intensity of the game is very different than what you play at India A or Ranji Trophy level. The importance of each ball is much more at the international level than at any other level. I am well prepared for my next tour as I know what needs to be done to match that intensity. It will give me a better chance of performing," he added.
Vihari also made useful contribution with the ball, picking three wickets in England's second - including centurions Alastair Cook and Joe Root off consecutive deliveries.
The Andhra played said that he wants to work on his bowling and be a useful asset with the ball as well.
"I want to improve as a bowler. If you have a batsman in top six who can bowl, it makes a huge difference for a team. I have started bowling a lot now. And will look to focus more and more on it. This can help the team as well as me in the long run," said Vihari.