India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day March 3, 2013

Chennai failure motivated Vijay


M Vijay's performance in Chennai, where he scored 16 runs in two innings, and the disappointment of his second innings dismissal, was what pushed him into an innings that could mark his return to the Indian team for a longer period.

Vijay scored a superbly-weighted second Test century, against Australia in Hyderabad, as part of a vital unbeaten 294-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara to take India's total to 311 for 1 at stumps on day two.

Vijay said the Chennai Test had "hit him hard" because "I gave my wicket away in the second innings." Vijay had scored 10 and 6 in the Chennai Test, dismissed both times by James Pattinson. In the second innings, with the victory target being only 50, Vijay had gone for an extravagant drive outside the off stump and was caught by Moises Henriques at mid-off.

"Basically, I was thinking that I made a mistake in the second innings of the first Test match rather than the first," Vijay said. "I should have just come back not out, which didn't happen. So I was just ready for this game."

Coming to Hyderabad, Vijay said, "I just wanted to stay at the wicket for as long as possible. So that was my intention and it didn't matter how the wicket goes. My thinking was to give a good start for the team. Apparently, it happened."

Vijay's was an uncharacteristically sedate innings: of the 288 balls he faced today in his innings of 129, he scored off only 57 balls, at a strike-rate of under 45. "I was preparing to fight it out there as long as possible and maybe if a good ball comes, then it is fine. I just wanted to stay and not give my wicket away."

He realised that his partnership with Pujara was an unusual and important one for India. "It is always wonderful to get a good start for the team. Partnerships like this don't happen all the time. We really cherished it. Pujara batted really well and it was good for the team."

Over a single inspired day in Hyderabad, Vijay's selection in the Indian team for the first two Tests against Australia had gone from being a flaky choice to one governed by enormous foresight. A woeful Ranji season, in which he averaged 17.25 and top scored with 42, was not the reason he was included in the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup. Vijay scored 116 in the Irani Cup and what could have counted in his selection was a good record at home, where he averages above 47 across a smattering of 13 Tests since November 2008.

Vijay said he didn't know whether this innings would cement his pace in the Test team. "Every innings in the international circuit is very important for everybody. I was really pumped up to play this series and that is what I really worked for. When I got it, I just wanted to hang in there and show what I am capable of."

The Uppal wicket he said, was a good one to bat on, "if you apply yourself." The difficulty it presented for new batsmen coming in became the centerpiece of his partnership with Pujara. "We took it session by session. Myself and Pujara decided to bat as long as possible because on this wicket, batsman coming in will find it a little difficult."

He said that occupying sessions and time was a conscious effort by him and his partner. The turn being offered by the wicket was not consistent, he said, and the unpredictability meant that the batsmen couldn't take it easy against the spinners.

Despite that, Vijay and Pujara scored 140 runs against the spinners Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell in 36 overs, and punished David Warner's part-time leg spin for 14 in a single over.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • roshan on March 5, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Vijay is a great opener. he is really in form. he has average of 50 in first class matches and list A matches. he has 20 centuries and 25 half centuries to his credit. he has almost 900 boundaries and 120 sixes in first class matches. he played lot of matches when india A toured many foreign countries like australia, west indies. ambati rayudu or c m gowtham or manish pandey, mayank agarwal could be the best replacement for sachin. there are some people say different statistics about vijay he has only 17.25. it may be in the notes of them they gimmick this percentage. headlines today sports reporter was saying vijay is just a player i am telling them to sit and watch his matches.? I really feel at present indian selection is great they have to find some fast bowlers. ojha and vishal joshi should be tried in spin bowling. pankaj singh, sidharth kaul,ishwar pandey should be given chance in fast bowling.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    All said and appreciated, I think the captain needs a special mention. He just wanted a result, the way he batted. He could very well have scored another century, if he had stayed at the wicket, and have been patient But he played for the team and for the country more than for his individual glory.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    "YEAH certainly a nice ing played by both of these guys.And congrats to India I winning this Hyderabad test!"...

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Good innings by VIJAY....iam a big fan of his..!!!...nw the only concern is that..can he cponsistently keep on peforming the way he has done is dis game..??...can he continously show that temparament..??...can he stay at the wicket as long as he did ijn this match..???....if he does that(which i hope and pray).....he'll be there for a longer period of time....well played..carry on the same way...!!!!

  • Sandeep on March 5, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    @Melvin John so you think vijay should out from team and your spinner to whom you saying toothless who make vijay to hit century are eligible in aus team.

    funny man. first think and say hope u understand

  • uncle bob on March 4, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Posted by rajattiwaari on (March 3, 2013, 16:01 GMT) Mind boggling decision by selectors to pick a guy who averages 17.25 this domestic season. Players like shikhar dhawan ,ajinkya ,badrinath ,manoj tiwary must be cursing their luck(and perhaps cursing slelctors too!!)

    It seems these players will be cursing their luck and selectors for long time to come. I can see only Dhawan getting some chances in place of sehwag till unmukt Chand is drafted in. Rahne may play once Tendulkar retires but Tiwari stands no chance. He is not a big test player either. I remember him playing in Australia last time where he was all at sea against pace bowling..

  • RAJARAMAN on March 4, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Vijay succeeded now .. let us appreciate that and see how he shapes up from here ... In Rahane's case, I think he is rated as a middle order test batsman and as an opener in ODIs ... just like SRT ... Rahane will certainly bat when we tour abroad ... there we keep only four bowlers in XI... Jadeja's place will go to Rahane ... wait till then ...

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    to mr rajattiwaari & Rahul Bose , why y guys are so worried about VIJAYS performance , Vijay last two irani cup results ( 256 / 116 ) against ranji champions pushed the selectors to pick him & rightly he deserves the chance for living in bench under the shadow of Viru & Gauti , You guys will sit in front of the TV praying for Vijays & Ashwins Failures , but sadly you guys are disappointed in last 2 tests , Vijay will continue the same & make your worries more , just pray for your tiwary to succeed , dont sing the old song of CSK guys getting in team , its boring

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    First of all he doesnt deserve a place in the side, this century is nothing, the spin attack is toothless & even worse than a Bangladeshi attack. Maxwell & Doherty are not even good in the first class level.Lets see their first class records, Doherty 122 wickets from 52 matches at an average of 44.56 & Maxwell 27 wickets from 15 matches at 33.81 & this pitch offers nothing for the fast bowlers. Rahane should have been given a chance in the test side he averages 62 that is 16 more than vijay's 46. Dhoni would soon bring all CSK players to the side.

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Good come back Vijay. but poor statement. Chennai failure is motivated you. Is other failure did not motivated you. In West Indies you got chance in all 3 test. You failed miserably. That is not motivated you. Yes, everyone listenes you when you rose from failure. So pls don't stop, perform well future. There are many youngsters waiting for chance.Perform like Sachin, Dravid,Laxman etc