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Slow and steady does it for recalled Vijay

Murali Vijay had been waiting for his chance ever since he was dropped after the third Test in the West Indies in July 2011. Firoz Mirza reports. Two to tango

india Updated: Mar 04, 2013 10:29 IST
Firoz Mirza
Firoz Mirza
Hindustan Times

Murali Vijay had been waiting for his chance ever since he was dropped after the third Test in the West Indies in July 2011, where he was also hampered by a hairline fracture suffered while batting in the nets before the first match in Jamaica.

Though, he was in the squad for the home series against England, he had to wait as India persisted with the tested combination of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

With selectors dropping Gambhir for the first two Tests against Australia, Vijay finall got the chance he was waiting for, although he had a shaky domestic season.

And when he failed in both the innings in the first Test in Chennai, it looked like the aggressive Tamil Nadu batsman was once again failing the test of temperament and technique. However, he seized the opportunity with a fine century in Hyderabad to at least seal his berth for the next two Tests in this series.

Curbing aggression
The key to Vijay's success on Sunday was his ability to curb his natural aggression, not being tempted even when Pujara scored at a faster pace and overtook him.

Former India opener, WV Raman, the Bengal coach, felt the knock could well shape Vijay's career. "It has come at the right time. It would help him go a long way."

He added: “At the start of the domestic season last year, I had advised him to look for a comeback somewhere around February 2013. The reason was I believed his performance goes up against the Aussies,” said Raman. Vijay made his debut against the Aussies in 2008 and had scored his only previous Test ton against them three seasons ago.

Technical issues
Despite his talent, one major technical issue in Vijay's batting was his lack of foot movement and his eagerness to hit the ball on the up, both recipes for disaster against sharp pace and if the pitch is not playing true. On Sunday, he showed great control in his batting until after tea when both batsmen went after the tired bowling attack. Vijay admitted he was under pressure coming into the match.

“The pressure was there. Basically, I was thinking that I made a mistake in the second innings in Chennai. I wanted to remain not out, but it didn't happen. So I was preparing a way to fight it out there as long as possible today.
“I don't know whether the innings will stabilise my place but I am really happy with this performance.”

ht epaper

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