Shastri lifts mood of the team: Vijay

Vijay lauds Ravi Shastri's role in the team; says his arrival has helped everything fall in place. BCCI recently extended Shastri's contract along with that of Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R. Sridhar till the 2016 World T20.

Murali Vijay would be hoping to continue his fine run when South Africa tours India later this year.   -  REUTERS

India Test batsman Murali Vijay heaped praise on Ravi Shastri, saying that the team director lifts the mood of the squad and that his arrival has helped everything fall in place.

Shastri's contract was recently extended along with that of Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R. Sridhar (fielding coach) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) till the 2016 World Twenty20.

“Ravi bhai has his own style of putting it across. He lifts the mood to 100 percent. Just the energy you get on to the table. At the right time, I think, he has come. It's all fallen in place,” Vijay was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.

“Obviously, Bharat Arun, Sanjay Bangar and R. Sridhar as well have been great. Everybody is trying to do his best to give us the best atmosphere,” he said.

Vijay's role in India's recently-concluded 2-1 Sri Lanka series win was limited to the second Test at the P. Sara Oval ground where he scored 0 and 82 in India's 278-run victory.

He missed the first and third Tests with a hamstring injury, and has been working on his fitness for the forthcoming South Africa series.

India will play three T20Is, five One-Day Internationals (ODI) followed by four Tests against South at home.

“Actually, I'm pretty excited about the South Africa series and only one thing I'm concentrating at the moment is my fitness. I've been working on my rehabilitation. So, I think pretty good three weeks,” Vijay said.

“I'm on the right track at the moment, and am happy about it. But, I am not thinking too far ahead because there's a month and a half to go for the Test series,” he said.

The 31-year-old said missing two Test matches in Sri Lanka was tough but he is currently focused on his fitness and getting his basics in batting right.

“Missing a couple of Test matches in Sri Lanka was tough, but cannot think over it or something like that because injuries do happen in any sport. All I am trying to do is work on my batting, basics, my fitness and my fielding,” said Vijay.

The opener said that the presence of numerous talented individuals in the Indian batting line-up creates a “healthy competition” in the side.

“It's been unbelievable because everybody is talented. It's a healthy competition,” he said.