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There is no pressure on batsmen: Vijay

By The Assam Tribune
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COLOMBO, Aug 4: Skipper Virat Kohli�s strategy to field five bowlers would mean that six specialist batsmen can hardly afford to relax but opener Murali Vijay said there won�t be any extra pressure on them when they clash with Sri Lanka in a Test series, starting next week.

Vijay is coming into the series after making a strokeful 150 against Bangladesh in the one-off Test and the opener is eager to cement his place in the side.

�It�s actually not demanding. It is actually our role and if any one of us clicks, it�s going to be good for the team and we are going to be in a much comfortable position on most times. So it is a good challenge,� Vijay told reporters when asked about the pressure on the top-order batsman in the face of Kohli�s five-bowler theory.

�It is a good responsibility to have on your shoulder to go in and bat and these are good things. If you are looking to dominate in a Test match, you have to perform as a team. You should have the plans and work according to them,� he added.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan also made a blazing 173 in Bangladesh and with Lokesh Rahul also in line for a spot in the playing XI, the competition is intense. Vijay though is not too worried.

�It (the competition in the top-order) is going to add more challenge for everybody to pull up their socks and do their bit for the team. Be as consistent as possible and it�s a good challenge and good thing to have in a team,� he said.

With two fairly young sides up against one another starting August 12, Vijay hopes the challenge will be worth everything.

�There are a lot of youngsters, like Angelo Mathews is doing well, there is (Lahiru) Thiramanne, so there is a lot of talent in the team and it is going to be a tough series for us. We are also a young bunch of players and it is going to be a challenging series,� he said.

After Kumar Sangakkara�s retirement post the second Test, Sri Lanka will be without two of their most experience batsmen � Mahela Jayawardene is already retired � and Vijay opines that India will have the upperhand on that count.

�With Mahela retired and Sangakkkara about to (retire), there is a big hole in their batting line-up when these two greats retire. Overall I have seen Sri Lanka�s series with Pakistan and watched quite a bit of them. They are a talented side. We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can pull it off,� he said.

India Test cricket is going through a transformation period with Kohli at the helm and Vijay has high hopes from the young team.

�We are a close unit now and it has two seasons that we have been playing abroad. The first time for us to play in the sub-continent and the home series coming up, so it�s going to be exciting time as a team and for every individual because it�s going to test our character and will be challenging overall,� he said.

Vijay made a strong comeback with a wonderfully crafted 150 at Fatullah against a rejuvenated Bangladesh pace attack and the opener wishes to take take the momentum forward.

�I think I have always been that way, it just the run quotient had to be a little more consistent and now with more opportunities in the team I am really enjoying my game. I am mentally ready much more than before,� said Vijay on being asked about his new-found fearless way of batting.

�Just enjoy the game and give your best, keep it simple. I don�t like to go much deep into anything, I like doing my stuff and if it helps the team then I am going to do the same, he added.

India will be playing a lot of their cricket at home after the Sri Lanka tour, but Vijay feels even home series are full of challenges.

�Playing international cricket is itself a challenge, there is no home and away in my personal view. Every aspect has it�s own charm and challenges, so obviously we as a player have to lift our game according to the situation,� he said. � PTI

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There is no pressure on batsmen: Vijay

COLOMBO, Aug 4: Skipper Virat Kohli�s strategy to field five bowlers would mean that six specialist batsmen can hardly afford to relax but opener Murali Vijay said there won�t be any extra pressure on them when they clash with Sri Lanka in a Test series, starting next week.

Vijay is coming into the series after making a strokeful 150 against Bangladesh in the one-off Test and the opener is eager to cement his place in the side.

�It�s actually not demanding. It is actually our role and if any one of us clicks, it�s going to be good for the team and we are going to be in a much comfortable position on most times. So it is a good challenge,� Vijay told reporters when asked about the pressure on the top-order batsman in the face of Kohli�s five-bowler theory.

�It is a good responsibility to have on your shoulder to go in and bat and these are good things. If you are looking to dominate in a Test match, you have to perform as a team. You should have the plans and work according to them,� he added.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan also made a blazing 173 in Bangladesh and with Lokesh Rahul also in line for a spot in the playing XI, the competition is intense. Vijay though is not too worried.

�It (the competition in the top-order) is going to add more challenge for everybody to pull up their socks and do their bit for the team. Be as consistent as possible and it�s a good challenge and good thing to have in a team,� he said.

With two fairly young sides up against one another starting August 12, Vijay hopes the challenge will be worth everything.

�There are a lot of youngsters, like Angelo Mathews is doing well, there is (Lahiru) Thiramanne, so there is a lot of talent in the team and it is going to be a tough series for us. We are also a young bunch of players and it is going to be a challenging series,� he said.

After Kumar Sangakkara�s retirement post the second Test, Sri Lanka will be without two of their most experience batsmen � Mahela Jayawardene is already retired � and Vijay opines that India will have the upperhand on that count.

�With Mahela retired and Sangakkkara about to (retire), there is a big hole in their batting line-up when these two greats retire. Overall I have seen Sri Lanka�s series with Pakistan and watched quite a bit of them. They are a talented side. We are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can pull it off,� he said.

India Test cricket is going through a transformation period with Kohli at the helm and Vijay has high hopes from the young team.

�We are a close unit now and it has two seasons that we have been playing abroad. The first time for us to play in the sub-continent and the home series coming up, so it�s going to be exciting time as a team and for every individual because it�s going to test our character and will be challenging overall,� he said.

Vijay made a strong comeback with a wonderfully crafted 150 at Fatullah against a rejuvenated Bangladesh pace attack and the opener wishes to take take the momentum forward.

�I think I have always been that way, it just the run quotient had to be a little more consistent and now with more opportunities in the team I am really enjoying my game. I am mentally ready much more than before,� said Vijay on being asked about his new-found fearless way of batting.

�Just enjoy the game and give your best, keep it simple. I don�t like to go much deep into anything, I like doing my stuff and if it helps the team then I am going to do the same, he added.

India will be playing a lot of their cricket at home after the Sri Lanka tour, but Vijay feels even home series are full of challenges.

�Playing international cricket is itself a challenge, there is no home and away in my personal view. Every aspect has it�s own charm and challenges, so obviously we as a player have to lift our game according to the situation,� he said. � PTI