Murali Vijay confident of being fit for Sri Lanka tour

The Tamil Nadu batsman underwent a wrist surgery in London and has since been spending time recuperating and following the rehabilitation programme prescribed to him.

Murali Vijay has played 51 Tests for India so far.   -  R. Ragu

Murali Vijay is using the time away from the game to work on fitness with his next assignment being the Test series in Sri Lanka next month.

The Tamil Nadu batsman, who missed the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, underwent a wrist surgery in London and has since been spending time recuperating and following the rehabilitation programme prescribed to him. “I am in the process of recovering. Have a few more days to go. I want to be at my best fitness-wise,” Vijay told PTI.

He is currently working in Chennai with Rajinikanth, a trainer at National Cricket Academy (NCA), and hopes to start batting again in the next few days. “I think I am in the right hands. He (Rajinikanth) is one of the best when it comes to rehab work. I am lucky to be working with him at the right time. The aim is to be a fitter cricketer,” Vijay said.

The stylish right-hander is likely to spend some time at the NCA in Bengaluru where his recovery will be assessed. With India slated to tour Sri Lanka for a series next month, Vijay is preparing himself for the same. “I have had an operation. I am hoping all will be well and I should be all right by then. I got the time to think about myself and my batting while concentrating on my fitness,” he said about the injury enforced break.

“I am working on my fitness part. I can’t rush my return as I have had a surgery. I will go by the doctors’ advice.”

‘Important aspect’

Vijay, a veteran of 51 Tests, 17 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and nine Twenty20 Internationals, is keen to be part of all the three formats. “I know I have the game to play and do well in all three formats. For that fitness is an important aspect and I am working towards that,” he said.

Despite being away from the game, he has been keeping tab on Indian team’s performances in the ongoing Champions Trophy in England and had followed the Indian Premier League (IPL) too. On India’s performance in the Champions Trophy, he said, “Great to watch the way we are playing. It is our time to dominate.”

Due to the injury, Vijay said he got the opportunity to spend quality time with his family, which is a luxury for a modern-day cricketer given the hectic match schedule and travelling. “I am happy to have got the chance to be with my family, the children, especially. It was great to be at home more.”

He also got an opportunity to watch a football match - with fellow opener K. L. Rahul and Indian team physio Patrick Farhart - between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford when in the U.K. for the surgery. It was a fantastic experience to watch a game at the stadium, he said, adding, “I like to watch the big stars like (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic play.”