Murali Vijay regained his form while playing for Essex after being dropped from India’s Test squad but he insists that he did not change his technique during his county stint.
The opener from Tamil Nadu endured a poor run in England, making 20, 6, 0 and 0 in the first two Tests before he was dropped. Subsequently, he signed up for Essex and scored a ton and three half-centuries.
“There wasn’t any adjustment. It was a great experience because it wasn’t easy. I should thank Essex for having me and giving me an opportunity to play the way I wanted to. We had crucial three matches, and it really motivated me. I could step up and contribute, so I was happy to gain some experience there,” he said.
“I never went to play county to get back into the Indian team. I felt it was important to get some runs and play good cricket. It so happened that I could do well (there) which gave me that extra bit of chance to get back into the side,” Vijay said after Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy opener against Madhya Pradesh in Dindigul.
Vijay said the Indian team management has done well by arranging enough practice games ahead of the Australia Tour, where the team is scheduled to play a four-Test series from December 6.
‘It’s a mental game’
Before that, India will play a three-match Twenty-20 series, beginning on November 21 in Brisbane.
“For me, it’s a mental game. It’s never been a question of my ability. This time we have planned pretty well. We are going a little early and we are going to get a few practice games as well in Australia before we play the first Test match.”
“That will be ideal for us. Hopefully, our boys can gel as a team and put their best foot forward,” said Vijay.
He scored 482 runs at an average of 60.25 during India’s last tour of Australia in 2014-15.
Vijay will be part of the India A’ team that is leaving for New Zealand later this week. He said though the conditions in New Zealand would be different from Australia, for him, it was about getting some match practice and scoring runs.
Vijay said he was ready to face the challenge posed by Australia’s premier spinner Nathan Lyon during the upcoming series.
“You can’t allow a bowler of Lyon’s caliber to settle into his rhytm. We both had a good competition going on the last time we played and it will be great to once again take him on and put him under pressure,” he said.
Vijay, who underwent a surgery in April this year due to a wrist injury, said he had to alter his training methods.