Exclusive | Murali Vijay stresses on collective effort to win Test series in England

0
27 Views

Share this

Having completed the limited-overs leg of the England tour, the Indian team is now getting ready for its toughest challenge yet under Virat Kohli’s captaincy – a five-match Test series – starting in Birmingham on August 1.

In an exclusive interview with IndiaTV, Test opener Murali Vijay said in order to win the series, it is important for the visitors to stay together as a team on such a long and arduous tour.

While talking about the challenges that green top wickets and chilly overhead English conditions pose to the Indian batsmen, Vijay said on IndiaTV’s “Cricket Ki Baat” show: “Every condition presents its own challenges and as a cricketer, you have got to be ready to accept it and just put your best foot forward. It’s just a matter of time before we get started as a Test team and hopefully, we can win this time.”

“I’m in a good mindset at the moment and hope to go there and get my basics and preparation right and from there we have to judge how the conditions are. It will be crucial for us to stay together throughout,” he added.

On the last tour to England in 2014, India lost 1-3 despite being 1-0 up after the first two Tests. While big names like Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara had a horrific time with the baton that tour, Vijay was one of the rare successes for India in the Tests. His 146 at Nottingham in the very first innings of the series and 95 in the 2nd Test set the tone for India to take the lead. It wasn’t a coincidence that Vijay’s form with the bat mimicked India’s fortunes during the series as both took a dip over the next three Tests.

This time around Vijay hopes to finish what he and the team started in 2014 and believes that a good team atmosphere like the current one should help the cause.

“For sure, it is an opportunity for us to go and do well like the seniors before us. They all went there with the same mindset as ours and whether it is winning in England, Australia or New Zealand, it’s not going to change. It’s a collective effort and hopefully, we can get the momentum going and win the series.

“The way Virat is handling the team and the members are raising their game as well, so it’s a great atmosphere overall. It’s just about doing our bit as a team, be more professional and finish the game on a high,” opined the Chennai-born.

A regular feature of Vijay’s career – apart from his leaves outside the off-stump – has been a spate of injuries which have troubled him over the years making the Indian opening slot resemble a revolving door. Vijay recognizes this issue and stressed that he is working hard on his fitness to avoid injuries on such an important tour.

“Definitely, I’ve been working on my fitness. The net sessions have started and I’m pretty excited to go to England and see how it works for me,” said the Tamil Nadu batsman.

His skipper Kohli’s form over the Test series will be under the lens considering his dismal show in 2014. Backing his captain to come good over the next two months, Vijay said: “He just batted in a phenomenal manner (in the ODIs) and I would like to wish him luck for the series. The way he is batting I think he will score more runs in this series.”

While advocating the need of teamwork, Vijay conceded that cricketers should also find time to have fun and enjoy themselves, especially on a long tour like the current one. When he was asked to elaborate the thinking behind the dab-pose that he was seen doing with KL Rahul during India’s last Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru, the 34-year-old smiled and said that he was just trying to copy his son’s dance moves.

“I’m just trying to copy my son as he is into dabbing and stuff. Rahul and I decided that if we get a hundred run partnership, we would do that and so we did it against Afghanistan. Personally, we all like to have fun, everyone likes to dance and do a jig. I saw some of them do it in England so it’s going to be fun. The team is gelling together over a couple of years which is really nice, hopefully, we can keep that camaraderie going and it’ll be awesome in this series,” explained Vijay.

On his equation with KL Rahul, Vijay further added: “He is 100% talented and using the best of his opportunities and that is what is more important and I really wish him luck and hopefully the team can keep the momentum going.”

Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *