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I was under pressure to deliver: Vijay

Last updated on: March 3, 2013 18:42 IST

I was under pressure to deliver: Vijay

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As the second day's play of the second Test between India and Australia came to an end on Sunday, Murali Vijay was a relieved man.

The 28-year-old had arrived in Hyderabad under intense pressure.

- PHOTOS from Day 2

A wretched domestic season, where he managed just about 130-odd runs, had led to fingers being raised when he was selected for the ongoing series.

To make matters worse, he failed twice over in the opening Test in Chennai, managing only 10 and six in the two innings on his home ground.

- Scorecard

Many questions were raised regarding his inclusion for the second Test, especially considering opening partner Virender Sehwag was also suffering from a slump in form thereby increasing the opening woes for India.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni though persisted with his Chennai Super Kings team mate saying he "needed to be given time."

On Sunday, Vijay justified his captain's faith by scoring an unbeaten 129, putting his team in a comfortable position en route.


Image: Murali Vijay
Photographs: BCCI

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'The last game hit me hard'

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No wonder he was content at the end of day's play.

"To be honest, there was pressure," admitted Vijay, adding, "I don't take to things (read criticisms) from outside. 

"But I definitely put myself under pressure by giving my wicket away in Chennai."

Though the opener was guilty of not being patient in both the innings, he pointed out his dismissal in the second innings as the one that hurt most.

"The last game hit me hard," admitted Vijay.

"I just gave my wicket away in the second innings," he added, talking about his early dismissal at a time when the home team needed just 50 runs to win.


Image: Murali Vijay
Photographs: BCCI
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'It is an inconsistent wicket and not easy to bat on'

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The twin reverses albeit made Vijay more determined, desperately wanting to prove a point. And that he did with his 288-ball knock, which was inclusive of 17 hits to the fence and two over it.

"I wanted to stay for as long as possible," explained Vijay, adding the wicket in Hyderabad also forced him to alter his style of batting and curb his natural instinct.

"It is an inconsistent wicket and not easy to bat on," he said, before quickly adding, "But it becomes easy if you apply yourself."


Image: Murali Vijay
Photographs: BCCI
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Vijay hits second Test hundred

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It was Vijay's second Test hundred, his first having come against the same opposition, a well-made 139 in the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore in October 2010.

During the course of his innings, the 28-year-old was involved in an unbroken 294-run second-wicket partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (162 not out), one that not only ensured the home team recovered well from an early setback (the wicket of Virender Sehwag) but also very much took the game away from Australia, having reached 311 for one at stumps, an overall lead of 74 runs with nine wickets intact.

"I would say we both batted really well and didn't give them any chances whatsoever," said Vijay, in a tone that was immodest to say the least.

He could be pardoned for the same though.  For Vijay, he had done his job on the day, and done it rather well.


Image: Murali Vijay
Photographs: BCCI
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