Indian cricket team is set to commence the challenging South Africa tour with the first Test in Cape Town starting Friday. The team had an intense net session and most of the players followed the regime they have stuck to in the past. Opener Murali Vijay is expected to play a key role for the side in these challenging conditions and the right-hander semeed happy with his preparations ahead of the opener.
“The practice sessions have been perfect for us so far. Everybody knows what they need to do. The individuals know what exactly are the areas they need to work on. Everybody in our dressing room is looking forward to the first day of play,” Vijay was quoted by BCCI.tv.
The pitch talk is getting louder as we approach match day but Vijay feels it’s more about being mentally prepared for the challenge. He revealed the team got good wickets for practice and are now used to the conditions.
“We got some pretty good net sessions and some pretty good wickets as well. So, we are used to it. It is more of mind games than physical touch. You have to be mentally prepared to match conditions because in the match it will be entirely different from whatever you replicate outside. We will be up for it,” said Vijay.
Like most of the batsmen, Vijay has toured this part of the world in the past. He was part of the squad for two tours but only played a single Test.
“I have been here a couple of times. Once I got to play the Test match, it was pretty challenging as an opening batsman. As you know the bounce and seam movement in these conditions is something really exciting for openers to go out there and perform. It is difficult but at the same time you learn a lot of things. If you have some x factor in your game, you can use when you get into a situation like that next time,” said Vijay.
With some experience of these conditions under his belt, Vijay is looking to make minor adjustments this time around.
“I am preparing myself to be a little more open than how I was last time. I just want to go out there and whatever is thrown at me, I just want to play my A game and do well for my country. I just want to prepare myself and be in a confident state of mind, which I am at the moment, which is good for me and the team,” he added.
Vijay insisted that there is no set pattern one can follow in the middle. For him, it’s about being in the right frame of mind and counter when the opposition bowls in the right areas.
“You cannot have a set pattern. You cannot go into a Test match that you are going to leave so many balls. You also have to be in a frame of mind where you also have to score runs. If they bowl in good areas, then you have to try to counter and come out stronger. These are the things which will be critical for us to move forward.”