Murali Vijay fine-tunes for Lanka series with a Ranji ton

“Basically I want to get a lot of batting and that's the whole idea and the management thought I should play a game, ” Vijay explained about the decision to join the team.

Murali Vijay scored his first century in eleven first-class innings.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Ahead of his return to the national team in a week’s time for the Sri Lanka series, M. Vijay hit the right notes on Thursday with a crucial 140 for Tamil Nadu in a Ranji Trophy game against Odisha despite an eleventh hour call to join his State side.

Speaking after the day’s play, the opener said he came with an open mindset and tried to stay in the middle as long as possible. “Basically I want to get a lot of batting and that's the whole idea and the management thought I should play a game, ” Vijay explained about the decision to join the team.

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The 33-year old said he focussed on staying at the wicket. “It's about me staying at the wicket which matters more than runs or balls. I believe if runs are a little difficult for me, then they are bowling a good spell and I have to respect that. I have got to put the team in front of me and bat.”

Vijay scored his first ton in eleven first-class innings with his last hundred coming against Bangladesh.

When asked if it was frustrating that a big score did not materialise despite getting starts, Vijay said, “I have not played first-class cricket regularly. I have come in one or two matches and have been with the Indian team.” 

He also thanked the TNCA for allowing him to play whenever he was available saying the backing was crucial in keeping him in a positive frame of mind. “It is very important and I have always had their backing. It is my time to give back to them and I will soon win a Ranji Trophy for them.”

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