Murali Vijay has been recalled to the Indian Test team for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka scheduled to begin on 16th November at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Vijay who last played a Test match in March against Australia got ruled out of the Indian squad due to a wrist injury. But that injury seems to have cost Vijay, his spot in the national team, as his replacement Shikhar Dhawan took the opportunity with both hands and has been in sublime form since coming back to the team.
Murali Vijay will have to fight for his spot in the national team, as both Dhawan and KL Rahul have been performing well for the side in the longest format in his absence. Vijay played three matches for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy and scored 210 runs which included a 140 in the third game against Odisha.
In an interview with DNA News, Vijay spoke about his performance in the Ranji Trophy, his preparation for the upcoming series and also his injury which has kept him away from international cricket for the past eight months.
What can the 140 (for Tamil Nadu against Odisha in the latest round of Ranji Trophy) do to your confidence going into the Test series against Sri Lanka?
“It is good and has come at the right time. I have been working towards it. I was looking for match practice, and this was a perfect thing that I really wanted to, and it came my way.”
How prepared you considering you last played Tests in March and missed the Sri Lanka tour in July-August?
“I went through that period like those who go through an injury and wait for the day to play the game. Obviously, now I am fit and ready to go. I’m looking forward to better myself as a cricketer. Those things are exciting for me than just the opportunities and what I am going to do. I am thinking what I can do to the best of my ability when I join the Indian team, and how I can contribute to its victories.”
What is it about you and Sri Lanka. You got injured there in 2015 (hamstring) and also this year (wrist injury)?
“I had been to Sri Lanka in 2010. That time I was fit and performed there. It (injury) is just timing. I don’t relate too much of these things. I am a person who believes if you are injured, you are injured. Against who you play is irrelevant. I am not thinking about my injury at the moment. I am thinking of how to perform and am channelising my energy to finding ways of how to be at my best.”
There must have been a phase when you would not have picked up a bat for a while. Did it feel strange?
“Definitely. I could not pick my bat for at least a couple of months. I was with myself. I travelled around, saw new things. In the back of the head, it kept haunting ‘when are you going to get back to things that you really love’. But I channelised things that were even more important than my injury. I learnt a lot, as always. I believe everybody can only learn. There is nothing right or wrong, and one can only get better and go higher.”
How did you take to those repeated questions? Did they put you under pressure?
“After a point, I got numb. I really could not answer the question as I myself did not know when I was going to pick up the bat again. Whenever I tried, it was not coming my way. I really fought hard to push through the pace and believed in myself saying that ‘I will get back my whole grip’, which was a phenomenal process for me.
Can we see anything new from you this series?
“I have been setting targets and have been getting injured. I don’t want to reveal the targets and getting injured again. It’d again be a pain not to go and achieve it. I am better off in a mode where anything and everything is possible for me at the moment. But, something special is around the corner.”