I wanted to hang in there and play longer, says Vijay

It could just be a mere coincidence but there’s something about Australia that brings the best out of Murali Vijay.

In notching up his second successive century (153, 317b, 19x4, 3x6) of the series, the right-hander brought up his third hundred of his career and all those innings have come against Australia. His first ton (139) was in 2010 in Bangalore while his second (163) came in the second Test of the ongoing series. Significantly, the first two have come in winning causes.    

“As long as I am getting runs it is fine,” remarked Vijay when reminded of his feat. “It doesn’t matter who the opponents are and all that other stuff. I am happy it is Australia because they are a good team, (former) world No 1 team. So obviously it is a good feeling.”

The 28-year-old had a monk-like approach to his last two innings that have yielded him a total of 316 runs. Vijay spent close to eight hours to get to 163 in Hyderabad and here, he has taken just under five and half hours to score 153.

“I think it is Test match so obviously you got to take time and bat,” he said matter of factly. “Actually, I was working on my game before this (series). I wanted to stay at the wicket, and as I told you the Chennai second innings (dismissal) hurt me a lot. From there, I just wanted to stick in because, I know I can play my shots but that’s not helping me at the moment. So, I just wanted to do it the hard way, hang in there and play longer,” he explained.

Even as Shikhar Dhawan went berserk on Saturday, Vijay didn’t get into race with his partner. “When somebody is batting so well and the run rate is so high, I just wanted to hang in and play my game as per whatever I am comfortable with. Shikhar was getting the score at nearly four to five runs per over, so there was no need for me to go for any shots. I just wanted to play a little bit tighter and let him play his natural game. That is what we discussed and I didn’t want to stop the flow of Shikhar,” he reasoned.

Vijay had the best seat in the ground to watch Dhawan’s innings. “It is just incredible for anybody to play like that and especially a debutant like him. The way he played and the time he had to play as many shots as he did was unbelievable. It was great fun to watch fun from the other end.”

Dwelling into their batting approach this morning, the opener said India could pull off a result on the last day. “I think we are in a pretty good position at this moment considering the wicket. There is nothing to be worried about. Our plan was to bat as long as possible and we just wanted to set up a big lead so that we can come back into the Test match and win it hopefully. That was our thinking and hopefully, there are 90 overs left tomorrow,” he noted.

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