Indian Test opening batsman, Murali Vijay has come out and said that India are extremely determined to win the upcoming 5-match Test series against England and that he and the team under Virat Kohli will not be satisfied with anything less than triumph in overseas conditions.
India have been dominating at home for as long as anyone can remember, the same has never been true of their away record. Vijay, in an interview recently given to DNA, reiterated that the team under Virat Kohli's leadership is desperate to change that in England by saying, "I am never going to be happy if we don't win the series abroad. So, that's there at the back of my head. At the same time, I am not too desperate as well. I know this bunch of people can do special things abroad. We had an opportunity in South Africa, and we were so close. If it was a five-Test series, it would have been so close, I guess. We could have tested them even more. It was a good memory for us to take forward and be a better team in England."
"Definitely, I have performed well against England. It is one side that has been very competitive and has skilful cricketers. It is going to be a good challenge for us to go and start off really well and take the momentum forward. The first two games will be crucial for us and set the standard for the series."
Having scored in England before in 2014, he was naturally asked about the necessary adjustments that a batsman has to make to succeed in those conditions and he replied, "I never thought about all those things. I went out and reacted to the situations in England most of the times. The challenge for us as a team is to win the series. The only challenge for me is how am I going to contribute in a specific manner to the team's win where I keep everyone in a happy zone all the time. These are the things I am looking at and hopefully, I can contribute in a consistent manner that is going to help Indian team big time."
Talking about his planning and preparation for batting, Vijay said, "You can definitely plan for each bowler, but I am a strong believer in the fact that you have got to be able to adapt to the situation what you are facing inside than sticking on to your own plan because most number of times, you have to think off your feet inside that gives you more happiness because you might try to play defensive for a period and after three-four boundaries, the rhythm changes. That's how the game works and you have to be very open-minded to understand that and follow that rhythm."
"I never had a long period of time where I struggled. It is just in the initial phase, it is for everybody I think, where the legs would not move and you are not in the best of batting and still you have got to grind it out in the middle to get that rhythm going. Those are things that happen naturally for everybody who plays the sport for a long period of time."
Four of the five Test venues this time in England – Lord's, Trent Bridge, The Ageas Bowl and The Oval – are the same as the last tour in 2014. Vijay, when asked about how much the familiarity of the venues help, replied, "Hundred percent. It is a big thing in any facet of life. The first time, you see anything, you are going to find it new. The second time, you will be handling it much better. The same thing applies in the sport as well. If you know the stadium, you are comfortable with the dressing room, the feel is always with you. It's good."