India vs Australia: Murali Vijay differs with 'poor' rating of Pune pitch, says it was 'challenging'

Bengaluru: India opening batsman Murali Vijay on Wednesday differed with ICC match referee Chris Board, who gave a 'poor' rating to the Pune wicket, saying the surface at best could be called a challenging one.

Murali Vijay reacts after his dismissal on Day 2 of the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. AFP

Murali Vijay reacts after his dismissal on Day 2 of the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. AFP

The Indian batsmen failed to apply themselves on a turning track with the hosts losing the series opener by a whopping 333-run margin.

"(The) Pune wicket was not poor. It was a challenging wicket from ball one. As cricketers, we need to play on such wickets sometimes rather than playing on flat tracks. Actually it is a good thing to play on wickets which test your character and technique," he told reporters in the build-up to the second Test beginning in Bengaluru on Saturday.

With the Pune Test ending inside three days and Broad giving a negative feedback on the surface quality, the pitch has become the main talking point leading up to the next Test.

Vijay expects the wicket at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to be a good one but personally he is not fretting over the nature of the 22 yards.

"I go into the middle with an open mind and look to adapt according to the pitch conditions."

Talking about the unexpected surrender in Pune, the batsman said the Indian bowlers did a good job but conceding a big lead with a poor batting display in the first innings cost the team dear.

"I personally thought bowlers did a great job (restricting Australia to 260 in the first innings). After conceding a big first innings lead, it was always going to be difficult. We did not play ourselves well," said Vijay.

Dropped catches, especially of Steve Smith, also hurt India and so did the erratic use of the Decision Review System (DRS).

"Definitely, it (DRS usage) is not going our way. We got to take little more time I guess. We got to use those 15 seconds much better."

The team has spoken at length about what went wrong in Pune and is looking forward to the next game, having got an extra couple of days off.

"We had a chat about it and we have been working on few of the areas where we could have done much better in the last Test match. We are looking forward to starting afresh and take all catches coming our way," Vijay said.

He said the trekking trip to the Western Ghats also helped the team move on from the heavy defeat.

"(Team bonding) Exercises like these gets you closer as a team. We have been on the road for a while now. So it was good to have a couple of days' break, go for a trek and get some fresh air. It was fun," he added.

Vijay was also asked to compare the current situation with the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka where India lost the first Test series before bouncing back to win the series.

"Definitely (there are similarities). Having said that, we are only thinking about our own game and are positive going into the second Test. As a team we did not do well in Pune. We just got to take it on the chin and move forward," he said.

It was a forgettable match for Vijay on the personal front, having managed 2 and 10 in two innings.

Asked whether he plans to make any changes in his technique, Vijay said there was no need of doing that as of now.

"I cannot think about too much about technique. As a team, we did not play well and we have to get it out of the system," Vijay concluded.


Published Date: Mar 01, 2017 03:53 pm | Updated Date: Mar 01, 2017 04:06 pm

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