'I wasn't aware of the century till Rahane told me about it'

The soaring temperature here was only matched by the cool temper Murali Vijay exhibited as India enjoyed the better of exchanges against Australia on the opening day of the second Test.

The opener coasted to his fifth Test ton (144) that helped India finish the day’s proceedings at 311 for four. Vijay wasn’t aware of the fact that he had reached the magic three-figure mark and realised only when his partner Ajinkya Rahane came up congratulate him. Vijay thus became the first overseas opener to score a century in the first innings at the Gabba.

“Actually, I wasn’t aware of how much I was batting on,” admitted Vijay later. “I was just looking at the team score and batting. Ajinkya was at the non-striker’s end and he told me that I got a hundred and only then did I realise about it. It’s good, in a way, that I didn’t know the score. Last time when I knew, I got out on 99. So, this made it up for it.”

Sticking to basic, Vijay said, has helped him improve his performances over the last one and half years or so.

‘No special plan’
“You got to have a plan to play at this level,” he noted. “I had my plan and that is sticking to the basics and at the moment it is helping me out. I didn’t have any special plan coming to Australia or when we went to England earlier. I just stuck to basics and things are happening for me at the moment. As an individual and as team we can go forward from here.”

The heat took a heavy toll on the Australian bowlers on the day when Vijay gritted it out in the middle.

“It was really hot today and it was testing us all,” he pointed out. “I could see the bowlers were sulking out there and a lot of people were getting tired. So I was waiting to make use of it. My aim was to stay in there for a longer time as the conditions were suiting us. It was hot and we are familiar with these conditions than them and we are better equipped to these conditions. I knew if I could stay for a couple of sessions, I could get the bowlers tired,” he remarked.

Vijay said it was crucial for India to get off to a good start on this wicket.
“It was a good start for us and starts are going to be important in a Test match. If you see off the new ball, then it’s much easier for the coming batsmen.  I thought myself and Shikhar (Dhawan) played really well today.”

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