After being ousted from the Indian team after the Lord's Test, Murali Vijay has been drafted back into the Indian Test side for the upcoming Australian tour. The selectors have identified Vijay as the third opener as Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul as the two main openers.
Vijay hopped across to Essex after receiving the boot from the Indian team and strung together a list of impressive scores and this has forced the Indian selectors to include his experience in the squad.
"I never went to county cricket to get back in the team. I just went to play some cricket, and I thought it was the ideal time for me to go and explore county. It happened that I could perform and give myself a chance," Vijay told reporters.
'For me it's a mental game'
After the reversals in South Africa and England, the Indian management did concede that they should have played more practice games and thus, the board has organised few A games of which Vijay is a part.
"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," Vijay said.
The Tamil Nadu-man, who scored 482 runs at an average of 60.25 on India's last tour of Australia in 2014-15, believes that it is imperative for the Indian batting order to not let the Australian bowlers, especially Nathan Lyon to get into any rhythm.
"You can't give bowlers the opportunity to settle down on their lengths. And especially a bowler of his calibre, you've got to be on top of the game all the time. Nathan Lyon and me had a good competition going, so I like to take up the challenge. Get some runs and put him on the back foot," Vijay assessed.
Vijay is part of India A squad for their first four-day match against New Zealand A, which starts on November 16 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and although the conditions in New Zealand and Australia are different, the batsman believes that it helps the batting order to assess their own game and make necessary changes.