Mumbai: Despite being a prolific scorer in domestic cricket, Murali Vijay has played only 12 Test for India in the more than four years but the Chennai batsman says it makes sense in moving forward than staying demoralised. Vijay was third opener after Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the recent four-Test series against England but did not get to play a single game.
The 28-year-old batsman led Rest of India to a commanding total of 330 for five with a 116-run knock against Mumbai in the Irani Cup. "It's a challenge being the reserve opener. But as a professional you can't crib over it. You have to take it and move forward, that matters a lot rather than sitting and saying you are not playing a match. Whenever I get an opportunity I would like to give it my best shot," Vijay, who has scored 4310 runs in 59 first class matches with an average of 46.84, said.
"Obviously it's a big game for me and the motivation level was high. I just wanted to give my best shot." He hoped the platform laid by him and fellow-opener Shikhar Dhawan with their 144-run stand would stand the team in good stead. "Every knock is important. Myself and Shikhar gave a good start to the team and hopefully we can build on it," he said.
Vijay did not agree with the suggestion that the home team attack was not up to the mark.
"They are the best team in domestic competition and have won the Ranji Trophy for the 40th time. They have a good attack. Once we got in, myself and Shikhar decided to play our natural game. We decided to play positive cricket," he said. The decision to field first by Mumbai captain Abhishek Nayar also did not surprise the Tamil Nadu batsman. Vijay said that the team members came to know that captain Virender Sehwag would not play the game only this morning after coming to the ground.
Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni admitted his bowlers did not bowl well consistently but was happy with five wickets on day one. "Overall we did well. At the end of the day 330 for 5 is not a bad score (for us) on this wicket. At least we got five wickets today. Looking at the wicket its not a bad total. Day one at Wankhede is ideal for seamers thats what we have found out over the years," he said.
He praised Nayar for his ability to pick up wickets. "Abhishek Nayar has got this knack to get good batsmen out. Another aspect is he sets up the batsmen," said the former Mumbai stumper.