Murali Vijay knows a thing and two about how tough Test match runs are in England. He was outstanding against swing in the air and subtle seam movement from the varying surfaces, in the early part of India's five Tests series in 2014. Having scored 402 runs in 10 innings, he was India's highest run-getter and he achieved this through sheer discipline at the crease and by showing a lot of mental fortitude for it.
Vijay now looks forward to another tough vigil in England. He is 4 years older now and at an age where, generally, Indian batsman find their body isn't responding to their mind as much, in overseas conditions. Vijay, maybe not the same force anymore, but is still very relevant in Indian Cricket and a key part of India's upcoming Test assignments in England and Australia and he knows the task ahead of him.
He recently talked to TOI about it and said, "The Test against Afghanistan gives us an opportunity to go out there and express ourselves. It will definitely be an interesting game and from thereon, the strategies for the England series will start, Afghanistan is a quality side and Test cricket as such is a test for any player,"
"Even experienced players tend to struggle in England as the conditions are alien. Scoring runs in such conditions is a mental game and you have to be persistent. It is important to bide your time, believe in yourself and runs will come. That's what I have looked to do throughout my career,"
One of India's best Test opener, with a proven record in all conditions, deserves to win series overseas. He knows the hard work that this aim demands over the next 7 months.
"I have been telling people that it's about winning more than individual performances. You can perform well but at the end of the day if the team doesn't win (the series), then it doesn't give much happiness, I tried going for different things (earlier) and it didn't work. I am in a state where I want to enjoy the game than set any targets. I believe I have the hunger to go, do big and that's more important,"
(Inputs from Times of India)