Competition among the openers is good for the team and Murali Vijay welcomes it as he praises colleagues KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan.

“We three are very good friends off the field and it makes it much easier.  It definitely unsettles the opener, who is playing regular. Obviously, we three share a good rapport outside the field and that will help us big time in the series coming ahead and future ahead. We three are in good form,” Vijay said on the eve of the Test between India and Sri Lanka here.

Throwing light on the three openers, Vijay observed, “We make it easier, lighter, more fun, talking about it openly and having a good chat over it rather than keeping it with yourself and making that person feel it.  It is better off going in the open. Like whatever I feel or Shikhar feels, we put it out in the open so that it comes off (out) and we move forward. Basically we are fun loving people and I think we do things together and have good times outside the field, which is really helping us as a team.”

Vijay insisted the team would play on the pitch that had some grass on it. “It (pitch) has grass obviously and that’s the pattern for the whole series. Hopefully the wicket plays good and we get a good experience before the South African tour.”

The Sri Lanka skipper, Dinesh Chandimal, viewed it differently. “If you look at the pitch here, I’m not sure they’ve prepared it for South Africa. It looks like the Nagpur pitch,” Chandimal said. “The Kolkata track was similar to the ones in South Africa but these two are not like that. So, I’m also surprised, they are saying they’re preparing for South Africa and they’ve given these pitches.”

Chandimal hinted at some changes in the team with Rangana Herath out due to injury.  “Rangana is a big loss. Unfortunately, he got a back injury.  But we have in our line up Lakshan Sandakan and Jeffrey Vandersay. They have a good opportunity to play. We haven’t decided on anything yet but most probably we are going to do a few changes.”