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India vs Sri Lanka: Comeback Man Murali Vijay Has an 'Unwanted Stat' to Fix

Cricketnext | Updated: November 15, 2017, 7:27 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka: Comeback Man Murali Vijay Has an 'Unwanted Stat' to Fix

Murali Vijay. (Image credit: Getty Images)

New Delhi: In the last four years, India's premier Test opener Murali Vijay has cemented his place as a regular in the Indian side. That has happened courtesy some stellar performances outside India. But if one has a look at his overall career, his numbers present a different picture.

In the 24 matches the opener has played outside India, he has scored 1584 runs at an average just over 36. In that, he has scored three hundreds, to go with nine fifties. At home he has fared a little better in 27 matches, averaging 42, and scoring 1860 runs.

So, in a nutshell, in his nine year long career, he has played 51 matches, that have accounted for only 3408 runs. This is second worst batting average after scoring 3000+ Test runs since 2010. But this unhealthy average could be attributed to his inconsistent run at the international level, due to recurring injuries.

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Vijay played only 4 Tests this year, and will be looking to make a comeback in the home series against Sri Lanka. He showed signs of gaining form as the Tamil Nadu batsman smashed a 140 against Odisha in a Ranji Trophy encounter.

After the ton, Vijay told DNA, "It is good and has come at the right time. I have been working towards it. I was looking for match practice and this was a perfect thing that I really wanted to, and it came my way.

"I went through that period like those who go through an injury, and wait for the day to play the game. Obviously, now I am fit and ready to go. I'm looking forward to better myself as a cricketer. Those things are exciting for me than just the opportunities and what I am going to do. I am thinking what I can do to the best of my ability when I join the Indian team, and how I can contribute to its victories."

As all players find it tough to recover from the injury, Vijay was no different. "Passing the day was very difficult for me. How much ever you occupy yourself, the thought of coming back into the team, the doubts about your fitness cross anybody's mind because you are human. I found out a way. My family and friends backed me a lot in this phase, where I could give more time to my kids and see them grow and spend time with my wife. It was a totally different ballgame for me. Though it was difficult, I ensured that I was not thinking too much about my cricket and was giving 100 per cent to my family and rehabilitation towards getting back to a fitter Vijay."

During his convalescence, the opener tried different things to keep his mind off cricket. He also talked about how he could not pick up a bat for good two months of the injury. "I could not pick my bat for at least a couple of months. I was with myself. I travelled around, saw new things. In the back of the head, it kept haunting 'when are you going to get back to things that you really love'. But I channelised things that were even more important than my injury. I learnt a lot, as always. I believe everybody can only learn. There is nothing right or wrong, and one can only get better and go higher."

Vijay also mentioned that it is tough maintaining good form for long sustainable time. "It is fantastic to represent India and I know that feeling. I know how difficult it is to keep your form for a long sustainable time. Whoever gets the chance, I wish him luck. If I get a chance, I will be in the same mode, put my best foot forward and give a good start to my team and carry on from there. It is not about who is playing at the moment. It is about how well we play together."

First Published: November 15, 2017, 7:24 PM IST

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