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Thursday, 10 July 2014

I want to capitalize on this opportunity - Murali Vijay


After all the build-up, preparations and anticipation, India’s big Test series in England finally begun at Trent Bridge. And it got off the mark with a beautiful day of Test cricket albeit on an uncharacteristic English wicket. (Also Read: Report: England vs India, 1st Investec Test - Day 1)

The first day of the Test was particularly special for Murali Vijay, who brought up his first Test century overseas and fourth overall. Vijay started off with a flurry of shots in the morning session, bringing up his 50 off 68 balls with the help of 11 fours. (Also Read: Stats Highlights: England vs India, 1st Investec Test - Day 1)

Post lunch, with the ball reverse swinging and the Jimmy Anderson-led pace attack changing their line of attack to a more accurate one, batting got a little tougher. India lost Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli within 10 balls and runs were hard to come by. That’s when Vijay changed his batting rhythm as well, playing a more patient game. His second fifty came in 146 balls and it took him 48 balls to get from 90 to 100.

His unbeaten 122 was proof of Vijay’s hard work and his determination to convert starts into big scores – something he admitted had been lacking from his game. In a chat with BCCI.TV, the opener spoke of is special innings.

First Test century overseas – perfect start to the series for you?

It is. I was batting well throughout the South Africa and New Zealand series but couldn’t convert the starts into big scores. Here I came determined to do that and I am glad I could do it in the first innings itself.

You missed out a ton in Durban by three runs – got out to Steyn off a short ball. Plunkett was trying to do the same. Did that Durban dismissal play on your mind?

I wasn’t thinking of that knock actually. I knew different bowlers would come up with different strategies against me, especially when I was closing in on a century. I just wanted to maintain my focus and get there.

Did that phase right after the lunch break test your patience?

The ball was doing a bit after lunch and they were getting it to reverse. Also, we lost a couple of quick wickets during that phase and I didn’t want to play any flashy shots. I just wanted to tire them up. 

Did you feel like you played two different innings in one innings?

The two halves of the innings were contrasting and that’s what Test cricket demands from you. You have to alter your game according to the conditions and situations as much as you do against different bowlers. This will be a learning curve for all of us who are coming here for the first time. The SA and NZ series gave us confidence which is helping us here.

We have seen a marked improvement in your batting with every passing innings. Could you tell me what specifics you have worked on?

The only thing I worked on was to capitalize my starts. Until now, I was getting the starts and then got out. The same happened in South Africa as well when I couldn’t get past the 90s. I also got some 40s during those twin tours and didn’t get past them. That is something I want to change here. I want to capitalize on this opportunity.

source: bcci.tv


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