Murali Vijay joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the centurion’s club as he notched up his seventh Test century on the third day of the first Test against England in Rajkot. With Vijay’s century, the number of centuries scored on this Rajkot wicket has already reached five. (SCORECARD)
Vijay showed admirable temperament right from the start of the innings as he mixed aggression with solid defence. Despite losing Gambhir early on the third day, Vijay found an able ally in Cheteshwar Pujara and the pair strung together a solid partnership.
While Pujara was scoring runs at a brisk pace, Vijay held one held up. He brought up his fifty in style as he danced down the track and launched left-arm orthodox spinner Zafar Ansari over long on for a big six. Vijay was lucky to survive on 66 when he drove a full ball from Stuart Broad to cover but Haseeb Hameed dropped a catch.
Vijay moved slowly through the 70s and the 80’s but he got going in the final session. He entered the 90’s by launching Moeen Ali for a six to long off and he reached his landmark in style with two boundaries off Stuart Broad. This is Vijay’s second century against England, having scored a ton against them in 2014 in the first Test at Trent Bridge.
After reaching his century, Vijay suffered a blow on his knee by a Chris Woakes delivery and he struggled for mobility. His partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara was worth 209 runs. Following Pujara’s departure, he held up one end as India struggled for momentum in the later stages. He launches Moeen Ali for his fourth six but towards the end of the day, he departed to Adil Rashid thanks to a smart catch from Haseeb Hameed at short leg to depart for 126.
The efforts of Pujara and Vijay have ensured India ended day three on a positive note and that they have a safe platform for the remainder of the match.