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Do India's bowlers have it in them to win the Lord's Test?

Last updated on: July 21, 2014 14:41 IST

'The game is well-placed and Jadeja is spinning the ball well'

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Indian opener Murali Vijay said he won’t feel dejected on missing out on a century at Lord's if his team goes on to win the second Test against England on Monday.

Chasing 319 for victory, the hosts slumped to 105 for 4 at stumps on Day 4. This was after Vijay’s patient knock of 95 runs guided his team to 342 in their second innings.

"It is disappointing to miss the hundred but I will take it any day if we can win the Test match tomorrow," said Vijay after the day's play.

"The game is very well placed and (Ravindra) Jadeja is spinning the ball well. The fast bowlers can help too because it is doing a lot for spinners because of footmarks on the pitch. It will be a fifth day pitch and it will have wear and tear," he added.

While Jadeja will have a prominent role to play as a bowler on the final day of the Test, he had a major say as a batsman in how things shaped up on the fourth day at Lord’s.

Jadeja struck his maiden Test fifty, scoring 66 runs overall, and his 99-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar came in whirlwind fashion to knock the wind out of England.

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Image: India's Ishant Sharma celebrates dismissing England captain Alastair Cook
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'When Jadeja came in to bat I felt he will do something special'

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"Jadeja really played well and that helped us gain momentum. Obviously, Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is hitting the ball really well in this series and that has put us in a good position," said Vijay.

Asked if the James Anderson incident in the first Test at Nottingham inspired him, the batsman replied: "When Jadeja came in to bat I could feel the energy that he will do something special. His intent was very special. I was playing the anchor role but I got out and he capitalised on his intent. He is a fighter and he was showing it with his celebration on reaching the fifty as well."

But the ground work for this impact-full innings was laid only by Vijay's patient and calm knock. He faced 247 balls and struck 11 fours, building a 79-run partnership with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and helped India get into a position of advantage.

"They were bowling in an off-stump channel and the wicket was doing a bit, I just thought I will tire them out. If I get a good ball there isn't much I can do about it. So I just focused hard and batted.

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Image: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after completing his half-century
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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'We are here to prove a point and win a game'

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"The first hour of play here is very crucial; especially in this match it has been tough because the ball is moving around. I thought there are more attacking batsmen after me so I will just bat till the second new ball comes," said Vijay.

"I have waited for my chance and worked hard. I believed that I will get my turn and when I got it, I just grabbed it. In international cricket, you have to play your natural game because the game is unpredictable," he added, reflecting on his recent success.

The final question then remains is if India can go on to win their first overseas Test since 2011.

"We are all pumped up to do something special; we are here to prove a point and win a game," was Vijay's reply.


Image: Murali Vijay plays a shot
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Tags: India

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