I now bat for time, not runs: Vijay
After the twin failures in Chennai, Murali Vijay has adamantly decided to show his worth by notching up consecutive centuries, in the second and third Tests against Australia. After scoring 167 in Hyderabad, the opening batsman from Tamil Nadu churned out a knock of 153 at Mohali.
A natural stroke-player, Vijay was sedate and choosy during both his knocks, playing for time rather than runs. After his Mohali innings, the opener said that it was part of his changed batting strategy.
“I was working on my game after the Chennai Test and decided to just stay at the wicket,” he told media persons at the end of Day 4. “I know I can play my shots, but it wasn’t helping me. So I decided to take the hard way out of sticking in there and playing longer.”
One of the reasons behind Vijay’s subdued demeanour at the crease in Mohali was also the man in whose company he scored most of his runs. Shikhar Dhawan, in his first Test innings, took the cricketing world by storm by blazing away to 187 off 174 balls. Vijay, his opening partner, was happy to play a spectator.
“It was just incredible for anybody to play the way he did and especially for a debutant. The way he played and the kind of time he had to play as many shots as he did was unbelievable. It was really great fun to watch him from the other end.
“When your partner is batting so well and the run-rate is so high, you just want to hang in there and play your own game. Shikhar was going at four-five runs per over, so there was no need for me to go big. I just wanted to bat a bit tighter and I didn’t want to disturb the flow that Shikhar was in,” Vijay said.
After the 289-run opening stand, the Indian innings folded for 499, managing a lead of 91 runs. However, with Australia at 75 for three, Vijay feels India are in a strong position and can hope to win this Test given the deteriorating pitch.
“I think we’re in a very good position considering the wicket and all other factors. There’s nothing to be worried about at this moment. There are 90 overs left tomorrow, so let’s see what happens.
“The ball has been swinging from the very beginning and we were prepared for it knowing the conditions in Mohali. The reverse swing started after lunch when Shikhar and I were batting yesterday.
“We should wait for something to happen tomorrow. The wicket is also getting slower and lower and it will be difficult for them to score runs. It’s going to be a good match,” he said.