Indian opener Murali Vijay has said that he will not feel dejected on missing out on a century at Lord’s if his team goes onto win the second Test against England on Monday.
Chasing 319 for victory, the hosts slumped to 105/4 at stumps on day four. This was after Vijay’s patient knock of 95 runs had guided his team to 342 in their second innings.
“It is disappointing to miss the hundred but I will take it any day if we can win the Test match tomorrow (Monday),” said a smiling Vijay after the day’s play.
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“The game is very well placed and (Ravindra) Jadeja is spinning the ball well. The fast bowlers can help too because it is doing a lot for spinners because of footmarks on the pitch. It will be a fifth day pitch and it will have wear and tear,” he added.
While Jadeja will have a prominent role to play as a bowler on the final day of the Test, he had a major say as a batsman in how things shaped up on the fourth day here.
Jadeja struck his maiden Test fifty, scoring 66 runs overall and his 99-run partnership for the 8th wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar came in a whirlwind manner to knock the wind out of England.
“Jadeja really played well and that helped us gain momentum. Obviously Bhuvneshwar is hitting the ball really well in this series and that has put us in a good position,” said Vijay.
When asked if the James Anderson incident in the first Test at Nottingham had inspired him, the batsman replied, “When Jadeja came into bat, I could feel the energy that he will do something special. His intent was very special. I was playing the anchor role but I got out and he capitalised on his intent. He is a fighter and he was showing it with his celebration on reaching the fifty as well.”
But the ground work for this impactful innings was laid only by Vijay’s patient and calm knock. He faced 247 balls and struck 11 fours, building a 79-run partnership with skipper MS Dhoni and helped India get into a position of advantage.
“They were bowling in an off-stump channel and the wicket was doing a bit, I just thought I will tire them out. If I get a good ball there isn’t much I can do about it. So I just focussed hard and batted.”
“The first hour of play here is very crucial, especially in this match it has been tough because the ball is moving around. I thought there are more attacking batsmen after me so I will just bat till the second new ball comes,” said Vijay.
“I have waited for my chance and worked hard. I believed that I will get my turn and when I have got it, I have just grabbed it. In international cricket, you have to play your natural game because the game is unpredictable,” he added, reflecting on his recent success.
The final question then remains is if India can go on to win their first overseas Test since 2011.
“We are all pumped up to do something special, we are here to prove a point and win a game,” was Vijay’s reply.