Murali Vijay on the Afghan Test, scoring runs in the testing English conditions, and more
What's the story
Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) star and Indian national team's opening batsman Murali Vijay explained that his immediate goal would be to have a good outing in the one-off Test match against Afghanistan which will begin in Bengaluru from June 14, prior to leaving for England to participate in the Test series. The 34-year old spoke at an event organised by his Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) franchise Ruby Trichy Warriors on Thursday, June 7th.
In case you didn't know...
Murali Vijay has been playing for India since 2008. Unlike most players of the current era, the right-handed Tamil Nadu batsman debuted in Test cricket initially, before featuring in limited-overs formats for his country. He still continues as a Test specialist for India, having scored 3802 runs from 56 Tests at a good average of 40.02.
It was in England four seasons ago that Vijay best showed his mettle in testing conditions. In a highly disastrous series for the Indians, he excelled over his peers through commendable displays of batting. Ever since the series which India lost 1-3, Vijay has been a mainstay in the Indian Test side, garnering a lot of big scores in the process as well.
"The Test against Afghanistan gives us an opportunity to go out there and express ourselves. It will definitely be an interesting game and from thereon, the strategies for the England series will start," Murali Vijay said.
Afghanistan may be newbies in Test cricket, but Vijay is clear they won't be taken lightly. "Afghanistan is a quality side and Test cricket as such is a test for any player".
Vijay also talked about the English conditions at the event. He believes the trick to excel there is to stay patient and to back one's own skills. "Even experienced players tend to struggle in England as the conditions are alien. Scoring runs in such conditions is a mental game and you have to be persistent. It is important to bide your time, believe in yourself and runs will come. That's what I have looked to do throughout my career," Vijay revealed.
He is however clear that individual performances won't count for anything if the team doesn't go on to win the series. "You can perform well but at the end of the day if the team doesn't win (the series), then it doesn't give much happiness".
With big tours of England and Australia lined up for him, has Vijay set a target for himself? "I tried going for different things (earlier) and it didn't work. I am in a state where I want to enjoy the game than set any targets. I believe I have the hunger to go, do big and that's more important," he said.
Vijay may have had very little to do during his team Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) victorious campaign at the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) season, but the star Indian opener will hold an important key to India's fortunes as they are slated to play England in the five-match Test series, starting August 1.
Vijay is clear that if an opportunity arises at the end of the match against Afghanistan, he will be more than happy to feature in a few games for his TNPL franchise before leaving for England.