The veteran Indian opener Murali Vijay is expected to be a crucial cog for Team India’s chances in the upcoming Test series against England that starts on August 1. Ahead of the grueling UK tour, the Indian team will be playing one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru from June 14, and Vijay feels that the one-off Test will be a great preparation for the England tour.
In a chat with Times of India, Vijay said, “The Test against Afghanistan gives us an opportunity to go out there and express ourselves. It will definitely be an interesting game and from there on, the strategies for the England series will start.” Despite the fact that Afghanistan will be playing their maiden Test against India, Vijay feels that they cannot be taken lightly. He said, “Afghanistan is a quality side and Test cricket as such is a test for any player.”
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Vijay further added that the players will need to have some patience to be successful in the testing conditions of England. He elaborated, “Even experienced players tend to struggle in England as the conditions are alien. Scoring runs in such conditions is a mental game and you have to be persistent. It is important to bide your time, believe in yourself and runs will come. That’s what I have looked to do throughout my career.”
The Indian opener also pointed out that the team needs to do well combinedly in order to be successful in England. He said, “Even experienced players tend to struggle in England as the conditions are alien. It is important to bide your time, believe in yourself and runs will come. That’s what I have looked to do throughout my career. I have been telling people that it’s about winning more than individual performances. You can perform well but at the end of the day if the team doesn’t win (the series), then it doesn’t give much happiness.”
Vijay has played five Tests in England and has scored 402 runs at an average of 40.20. That includes a century and two fifties. He is one of the few Indian batsmen who has done well outside the sub-continent.
Though the team for Tests against England has not been announced, he could be opening the innings either with KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan, who is in good form at the moment.