Murali Vijay showed his intent on the final day of the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground as her blasted an aggressive century in the drawn game. His 129 included 16 fours and five sixes and his aggression has given Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team plenty of confidence heading into the Adelaide Test on December 6. Vijay’s century and KL Rahul’s solid 61 has helped India ease their worries over their opening conundrum after Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the first Test due to an ankle injury he suffered on the third day of the match. Speaking after the end of the match, Vijay said he enjoys the fast and bouncy nature of the tracks in Australia.
“Playing in Australia suits my game because I am a batsman who likes to play on the backfoot. Australia is the one place you get the bounce so you can play your shots coming from India and exploring shots that you have kept in your kit. I can get them out. It always feels good to go to grounds where you have scored runs as it helps you a lot and I have good memories of it,” Vijay said after the end of the day’s play.
Vijay and Rahul shared a 109-run stand for the opening wicket and Rahul, who smashed a fifty after failing in the first innings, showed that he was ready for the challenge in Adelaide. “e (Rahul and him) come from the same part of India so we understand each other well. He is a good guy to bat with and he is fun. Hopefully we can carry that momentum forward into the first Test,” Vijay said.
‘Play hard but fair cricket’
With Cricket Australia and the national team in a state of flux following the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town which saw Steve Smith and David Warner banned for one year, the cricket board’s chairman Earl Eddings has said Australia must ‘play hard but fair’ cricket.
“Just play good, hard cricket. I don't think people want us to be quiet but they want us to play with respect to the game, play hard but fair, and win well and lose better. The old adage is you don't say much when you win and say even less when you lose. I think we have a great team, they are fine young men, and I think they will do that. My advice to the guys is to go out and play your natural game and try as hard as you can. That's all Australians want to see," Eddings was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
Eddings, who took over the position of Cricket Australia Chairman following the dismissal of David Peever in the aftermath of the cultural review taken by the Ethics Committee, has said these comments coming at a time when players have devised their own cultural pact and, under new coach Justin Langer and are expected to have 'elite honesty'.