Excited about playing Test cricket on Australian soil again: Vijay after hitting 129 in warm-up match

Sydney: India opener Murali Vijay feels his game will flourish on the bouncy pitches in Australia after scoring a fine 129 on the fourth and final day of the only warm-up tie against Cricket Australia XI at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Vijay, who struggled in the Test series against England before being dropped from the India squad, hit 16 fours and five sixes enroute to his hundred.

“It was good to get some practice hitting over the boundary. I just took the chances which came my way. I wanted to be in a positive frame of mind since I knew that opportunities will be there. I have been working hard on my game and fitness, and am hoping to contribute in this series,” Vijay told reporters.

It wasn’t only the case of Vijay going past the three-figure mark in the second innings, but the manner in which he scored the runs was specially noteworthy. Vijay crossed the 50-run mark in 91 deliveries but accelerated in stunning fashion and scored the next fifty off just 27 deliveries to complete his ton.

“I am ready (after playing county cricket, tour matches in New Zealand and Australia). I just want to go out there, contribute and give a good start to my team. I have always been aiming for that and nothing is different this time,” Vijay said.

Vijay said he was excited about playing Test cricket on Australian soil again and is aiming to reproduce the good form he had displayed during the series here in 2014.

Even KL Rahul was back amongst the runs for India as he slammed a half-century in the second innings. With Prithvi Shaw ruled out due to injury, Rahul and Vijay are likely to open the innings for India and the duo stitched together a timely 100-run opening stand to allay any fears regarding the vacant position.

Asserting that he shares a good co-ordination with Rahul since both of them hail from the same part of India, Vijay hoped that the duo will be able to carry their current momentum into the first Test.

“I like to play on the backfoot so Australian conditions suit my game. You get good bounce in Australia, so you can play your shots,” he said.

Both Vijay and Rahul will take immense confidence from their respective innings in the warm-up clash over to the first Test against Australia which will be played at the Adelaide Oval, starting December 6.

(With inputs from PTI)