Cape Town Pitch Looks Green, But Team India Ready for the Challenge: Vijay
Cape Town: Openers are expected to set the tone for teams on the first day of a Test match, but India opener Murali Vijay doesn't want to think about the responsibility and burden. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Vijay said he is looking to stay as positive as possible going into the first of the three-game series against South Africa.
"I don’t want to think too much about what will happen in a couple days’ time. 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. Hopefully we can get going on this wicket, whatever is thrown at us and put up our A game.
"You cannot have a set pattern. You cannot go into a Test match thinking 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 I think which will be critical for us to move forward," he said.
The wicket is expected to be green, but Vijay says the team has had the right preparation going into the series.
"We got some pretty good net sessions. In the back we got 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," he said confidently.
While Dhawan has been passed fit and had a long session at the nets, Vijay did not wish to talk about the playing XI.
"Am not sure about the playing eleven, but he is fit and has declared himself fit so it is good for us going into this Test match. Hopefully it is a good headache for the captain and the management," he said.
Talking about the wicket, Vijay said: "It is quite green. I don’t know how it is going to behave on day one. Hopefully it should be a good test match to be part of. We are looking forward to it and that is more important. Everybody in our dressing room is looking forward to the first day of play."
As an opening batsman, Vijay feels swing will be more important to counter than bounce. "Swing I think, because bounce, personally I think I am able to manage bounce more. The ball swings around so it is difficult for any batsman to keep the shape," he said.
While everyone is talking about the pacers, Vijay agrees that it is the spinners who would play a crucial role and have to be at the top of their game.
"It is actually a very very important role because you have to support the fast bowlers as well. If you can bowl the spinners, they can come in big time and get a couple of wickets here and there, it will be a great help for us. We have quality spinners in our ranks and they can put up a good show," he revealed.
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri got the practice match cancelled so that the team can focus on training and Vijay is happy with the call.
"Everybody knows what they need to do. The individuals know what exactly are the areas they need to work on. They have been perfect practice sessions for us so far and we are looking forward to the game now," he said.
Graeme Smith has said that South Africa is the hardest place for opening. And Vijay feels that is a right call.
"I have been here a couple of times. Once I got to play the Test match, it was pretty challenging for the opening batsmen. As you know the bounce and seam movement in these conditions is something really exciting for openers to go out there and perform. I agree with him, 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 it when you get into a situation like that next time," he smiled.