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Ever-ready Murali Vijay revels after comeback ton in India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test

Murali Vijay marked his return to the Indian Test team with a brilliant century as India took lead against Sri Lanka on the second day of the second Test in Nagpur.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 25, 2017 19:39 IST
India vs Sri Lanka,Murali Vijay,Indian Cricket Team
Murali Vijay celebrates after scoring a century during the second India vs Sri Lanka Test in Nagpur.(AFP)

From being India’s first-choice opener before his injury-break, Murali Vijay has been relegated to third in the pecking order. However, the seasoned batsman grabbed the first chance to come his way, staking claim to the No 1 spot. (India vs Sri Lanka: DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)

Overlooked for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kolkata in favour of Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay’s innings of 128 in the second Test here on Saturday has left the team management with a welcome selection headache, for the final Test in Delhi as well as the looming South Africa series. (India vs Sri Lanka: SCORECARD)

“Definitely, any day I will take this (hundred),” said Vijay, who is competing with Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul for the opening position.

Solid overseas record

Vijay has proved his value in tough overseas conditions. Given that the Eden Gardens track offered seam movement to test the batsmen’s technique, it was expected the 33-year-old would be in the playing eleven.

READ | Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara grind Sri Lanka with tons in Nagpur Test

Dhawan and Rahul failed in the first innings but scored 94 and 79 in the second innings of a game India almost won. However, Dhawan sought a break from the Nagpur Test, allowing Vijay to get a crucial knock ahead of the South Africa tour.

Asked whether he was surprised not to be picked in Kolkata, Vijay said it has been difficult to deal with. “As a professional you should always be ready, whether you get a chance or not. You should be ready from inside eying a chance. So, whenever you get a chance you are not lacking in that aspect. You can be fully aware of what’s happening and what’s going to happen. It is difficult and I am used to it by now. I just want to contribute whenever I get an opportunity to play for India.”

Eight-month gap

He was playing his first international game in more than eight months – since the Ranchi Test against Australia in March -- but on Saturday there were no signs of rust as Vijay stoked his 10th Test hundred. Nagpur is a lucky venue for the batsman, who made his Test debut here in 2008.

READ | Murali Vijay scores 10th Test ton, puts India on top against Sri Lanka in Nagpur

Asked how he dealt with the game of musical chairs among the openers, the stylish batsman said: “I really don’t have to deal as long as I am happy and comfortable in my space; that’s all I wanted to be and if I am able to achieve that on a consistent basis, I think I am doing a good job.

“I gave an interview earlier. Playing for India is difficult and whoever gets a chance, I wish them luck. I know how difficult it is to be in that space and perform; whoever gets a chance should perform. That’s all I can pass onto them.”

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 19:36 IST