Murali Vijay has been the unsung hero in test matches for India since the last couple of years. The Tamil Nadu batsman has been solid as a rock at the top of the order and his contributions have been integral to the success achieved by team India.
He prospered immensely during the England tour, where he scored 402 runs in the five test matches. However, his character test was against Australia, in the lion’s own den. In Australia, Vijay looked elegant and solid as ever. Against the Kangaroos, Vijay made 482 runs in 4 test matches. His innings of 144 at the Gabba was simply impeccable.
But his fans are in for a serious shock when they come across Vijay’s numbers in ODI cricket. In 14 ODI’s, Vijay averages a mere 19.46, with a best score of 33. These numbers by no means justify the talent which Vijay possesses. He did earn a recall to the ODI squad in England last year when Rohit Sharma was injured, but didn’t get a single game.
Vijay however, is optimistic about his ODI future and believes that his chance will soon arrive. “I am pleased with the way I have been able to contribute to the team’s cause. Each time I stepped out to bat, it was always about providing a good solid start and I am happy to have been performing that role,” the 31-year-old was quoted saying.
“I have been performing well and I am sure my chance will come,” said Vijay. “In the last few seasons, I’ve curbed my instincts and preferred to play out of character. Be it in England, South Africa or in Australia, I found out what would work for me and went with it. Waiting for my time, playing each ball on merit helped me score big runs,” said Vijay.
The elegant opener also spoke about improving his fitness and concentration. “Irrespective of the score I am batting on, my aim is to focus on each ball bowled to me. It can be tough when you have been at the crease for a few hours as you are tired. Having a high level of physical fitness comes into play here,” he pointed out. “That’s not all. I go with the mindset of making as many runs as possible for the team, and don’t think of personal milestones,” concluded Vijay.