Domain Tests v India
Veteran Vijay ready to perform in Adelaide
The veteran opener is eager to make the most of the unfortunate injury to Prithvi Shaw in the first Test in Adelaide
Sam Ferris at the SCG
1 December 2018, 08:57 PM AEST
India veteran Murali Vijay all but confirmed he will replace injured opener Prithvi Shaw in the first Domain Test next week in Adelaide.
Vijay starred for India on day four of their lone warm-up match against the Cricket Australia XI at the SCG, dazzling the small yet vociferous contingent of Indian fans with a brutal 129 from 132 balls, including 26 runs from one Jake Carder over.
The 34-year-old was thought to be competing with incumbent KL Rahul to open alongside Shaw at Adelaide Oval, but the nasty injury to the youngster has opened the door for Vijay to return to the national side.
Should Vijay play as expected, he returns to a venue where he scored 53 and 99 four years ago in the dramatic 48-run loss to Australia. He went on to record 482 runs at 60.25 in that series which was taken by the hosts 2-0.
Now the seasoned campaigner hopes to repeat those runs from 2014-15 but be on the right side of the result.
"Basically, I am ready, I just want to go out there and contribute and give a good start for my team," he said after India's drawn match against the CA XI.
"I have always been aiming at that and nothing different this time.
"It's an interesting series for us and hopefully we can start it well.
"Always feels good to go to grounds where you have scored runs, it helps you a lot and I have good memories of it and looking forward to the Adelaide Test."
Fortunately for India, Vijay and Rahul have batted 25 times together at Test level and on Saturday combined for a 111-run stand.
The pair have just the one Test century partnership together, but Vijay is looking forward to batting with Rahul against the Australians.
"We come from the same part of India, so we understand each other well," he said.
"He is a good guy to bat with and he is fun.
"Hopefully we can carry that momentum forward into the first Test."
Vijay has missed India's last five Tests after recording a pair against India at Lord's in August.
In that time, the right-hander has continued to train hard knowing he must be ready to take an opportunity when it arises, like it has here in Sydney.
"You have to work and find ways to work things out," he said.
"If you are not part of the team, you have to make sure you keep your work ethics at the top level and once you get the chance you have to be ready to go.
"That was my basic fundamental after being dropped in England until now."
Domain Test Series v India
Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval
Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar