Vijay: A 'special' hundred

"The weeklong break helped me. And it helped everybody I guess, to go and rethink and come back better," says Murali Vijay.

Murali Vijay's game-plan is to attack the spiners.   -  PTI

Despite losing his overnight partner Cheteshwar Pujara on the second ball of the day, >Murali Vijay joined hands with his skipper and notched up what he later referred to as a “special” hundred. Vijay’s century — his second of the series — exemplified his patience, especially while facing the short-ball onslaught early on; his tactical masterstroke, displayed vividly during his aggression against England spinners; and underlined that he hadn’t lost his silken touch with the willow despite facing a lull in the last two Tests.

After dedicating his eighth Test century to the family of his close friend Srinath, who lost his father on the first day of the match, Vijay opened up about various aspects of the day’s play.

Listen to Vijay's interaction with the media
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On the wicket

I think it’s a very true wicket for the Test format because everybody had to work on their game-plans, got to be very clear in their mindset to deliver. Everybody, especially the bowlers had really got to work their plans out. It was a fantastic wicket to play this game.

On whether it was as good as he has seen Kohli play

I can actually not comment on that because every day he is improving. It is very difficult. At the moment, all I can say is he is batting at his prime, which is great for us, and hopefully he can continue it for a longer period of time.

On attacking leggie Adil Rashid early on

Actually my game-plan is to attack the spinners because I don’t want them to settle in one particular area where they find it comfortable. I just wanted to use my feet and use the depth of the crease and play according to my game-plan and it came out pretty well I guess.

On the difference between batting with Pujara and Kohli

One good thing is we all understand each other’s game very well, the top four at least, so we know what to do exactly in the middle. Whatever the situation is in front of us, we just need to stick to our gameplan and work in pairs.

On whether India is in control of the match

Definitely yes. Because any lead is gold on this wicket. During tea time, we just thought (we would) get close to their target but the way Virat and Jayant Yadav are batting, I think we are in a pretty good position.

On his hundred

It is special because I started off well in this series. And then a couple of matches I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play, I was getting out too early. I just came out in a much more clearer mindset in this game. And I just wanted to back my instinct and play.

On whether the weeklong break helped him

Definitely yes. The break helped me. And it helped everybody I guess, to go and rethink and come back better.

On tackling short balls

I did think about it because I was playing at the balls I should be leaving generally and there are a lot of other factors to it. I don’t want to reveal them. But yeah, the definite game-plan is to back my core game, believe in it and come back fresh and play in this Test match the way I wanted to play.

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