3 January 2018

South Africa: India's Vijay Backing Himself At Newlands

Indian opener Murali Vijay is hoping that his past experiences in South Africa will stand him in good stead ahead of Friday's Cape Town Test against the Proteas.

The 33-year-old has played three Test matches in South Africa - one on the 2010/11 tour and two on the 2013/14 tour - though none of those were played at Newlands.

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Like most of his team-mates in years past, Vijay has struggled on the South African wickets.

His best effort was a knock of 97 in Durban in 2014, but that is his only half-century here and overall he averages just 29.33 in the country.

He says that he has learnt a lot since then, and when addressing media at Newlands on Wednesday he exuded the confidence that has been evident throughout this Indian squad since they arrived in the country on New Year's weekend.

"I've been here a couple of times," he said.

"It was challenging for the opening batsmen with the bounce and seam movement in these conditions. It is something really exciting for an opener to go out there and perform. It is difficult, but you learn a lot of things.

"I'm preparing myself to be a little bit more open than I was last time. I just want to go out there and whatever is thrown at me I just want to play my A-game and do well for my country."

Vijay suggested that the Indians would seek to be positive when facing what is expected to be a ruthless Proteas bowling attack.

And having highlighted the need to deal well with the extra bounce in South African conditions, Vijay said he was more concerned by the prospect of swing.

"Personally I think I am able to manage bounce but when the ball swings around a bit it's difficult for any batsman to keep his shape," he said.

"Everybody knows what we have to do and the individuals know exactly what we need to work on. There has been perfect practice sessions for us so far.

"I just want to prepare myself and be in a confident state of mind, which I am at the moment."

Other news coming out of the Indian camp is that Shikhar Dhawan is fully fit and available for the first Test.

Source: Sport24

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