Delhi Capitals' new recruit Hanuma Vihari is counting on his international experience to make an impact in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
Vihari, who made his Test debut at the Oval against England last year, has since gone on to play four Test matches for India and has scored 167 runs at an average of 23.85.
Would miss Eden Gardens terribly: Dinesh Karthik on IPL 2019 home games being played at neutral venues
While his numbers may not be jaw-dropping, Vihari's role in the team has always been to play the long game and absorb pressure and he has done that perfectly in the four games he played -- one in England and three in Australia.
While Test cricket is no yardstick for success in T20s, Vihari is not a stranger to T20 cricket and IPL. The right-hander has represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL before and has played 22 games, scoring 280 runs at an average of 15.56 and strike-rate of 89.46.
But, the Andhra batter feels that this is an opportunity to showcase his talent and making his India debut will help him do that.
"I don't feel any pressure at all, it's an opportunity for me to showcase my talent and what I have become as a cricketer in these three years."
"With the India debut having happened, a lot of pressure is off my shoulders. I'd been waiting for it for really long. Now that the monkey is off my back, I can play more freely, and express myself better," Vihari told Cricket Country.
"Whether it's ODIs or T20s, this is where so many India players come up from. You maybe playing a lot of domestic, a lot of List A games, but there are only so many people following that, whereas the IPL is a tournament where the whole world watches you. I've got this opportunity after 3 years, and want to grab it with both hands," he added.
The 25-year-old is also looking forward to joining up with the new-look squad led by Shreyas Iyer and is keen to work under coach Ricky Ponting's guidance.
"We have a great mix of Indian and foreign players, and I'm really looking forward to playing under Shreyas and Ricky's leadership."
"It really depends on the management – when and where they want me to bat, as an opener or a finisher. But I am fully ready and prepared for everything. I've waited for three years, and I'm mentally in a great space at the moment," Vihari said.