In-form Team India opener Murali Vijay feels the intense pressure put on the visiting South African batsmen by India’s spin bowlers has paved the way for the home team’s domination of the four-match Test series thus far.
“To be honest, the pressure we have put on the batsman, it was incredible to watch from the close-in. It is a cat-and -mouse game, everybody trying to come one up and the bowler trying to come up on the batsman and it has been going well for us,” Vijay told reporters at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur on Monday ahead of the third match of the four-Test rubber commencing on November 25.
“It is the pure pressure we put on them and obviously the same vice versa. When we go out to bat we have our plans and they are also putting immense pressure. So it is a good contest to be a part of,” the opener remarked further about the series in which India are 1-0 up after winning the opener at Mohali that was followed by the rain-hit, drawn second game at Bengaluru.
The Proteas’ batting line-up folded up for scores of 184 and 109 at Mohali, which India won by 109 runs, and 214 in the first innings of the Bengaluru Test to which the hosts replied with 80 for no loss on day one after which no play was possible because of rain and a wet outfield.
The visitors collapsed in a heap against the home team’s triple spin attack in the two innings at Mohali and were equally clueless in Bengaluru too -- barring AB de Villiers -- against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja (Mishra was left out) in the only completed innings.
Vijay said the team’s confidence was high after the good show so far and he did not think the Mohali batting show, when they were shot out for 201 and 200, was a cause for worry. “The confidence is really high as for now because we had a good game and the first day was in our favour. I don’t know the batting is a worry for us because everybody is one match away from a big knock and this match may be the one.”
He was modest about his own form that has seen him score 75, 47 and 28 not out in conditions that have helped spinners. “I am trying to play my best and put the Indian team in a good position and so far so good, it has been coming out well for me. I am in a good state of mind and that is more important for me at the moment,” said Vijay, who made his debut at Nagpur in 2008 against Australia.
Recalling that game, the Tamil Nadu batsman said it gives him a good feeling to be back at this ground where he opened with Virender Sehwag.
“This ground means a lot to me because I made my debut here. It is a special feeling to come to this dressing room. It is always nice to come here.”