Coach Jayakumar helps Vijay rediscover touch

In the rather lengthy gap between the third and fourth Tests against England, Vijay visited Chennai for a stint with his coach Jayakumar at Chemplast Sanmar

Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay scored 136 to help India take a first innings lead against England in the fourth Test in Mumbai.   -  PTI

The time spent with batting coach G. Jayakumar, in the nets at the IIT-Chemplast ground here, have turned things around for Murali Vijay.

In the rather lengthy gap between the third and fourth Tests against England — the match at Mohali concluded on November 29 and the game in Mumbai began on December 8 — Vijay visited Chennai for a stint with his coach at Chemplast Sanmar, where he is employed.

After his hundred in the first Test at Rajkot, Vijay had run into rough weather. On more than one occasion, he was dismissed off short-pitched deliveries from the English pacemen. Ahead of the Mumbai Test, Vijay was under some pressure.

“He was moving away from his core game. He was trying to play deliveries that he would otherwise have left. We had a long chat about it. We fixed it,” said Jayakumar in a chat with Sportstar here on Saturday.

Jayakumar felt technique, on many occasions, was guided by mindset. “Often, when you reach out to play deliveries that you would otherwise have left alone, your feet start moving in a different fashion. At a subconscious level, you begin to drift away from your natural game. This has happened to many top batsmen.”

He elaborated, “If you look at videos of Vijay’s batting in England and Australia, you would notice the manner in which he judged length, and did not play deliveries that were not there for him."

“It was short-pitched deliveries on a particular line, he was being caught in the slip cordon, which led to some of his dismissals against England," he noted.

“We focussed on decision making, what to play and leave. It was this decision making that played a big part during Vijay’s hundred in Mumbai,” said Jayakumar.

When the English pacemen targeted him again, Vijay was back doing what he knows best — ‘leaving them.’