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County stint was not aimed at regaining place in India squad: Vijay

M Vijay looks forward to Indias tour of Australia next month

Bengaluru, November 7: India Test opener M Vijay, who has been included in the India Test squad to tour Australia, said his Essext county stint was not aimed at reviving his career.

Vijay was dropped from the India team after the first two Tests against England but showed good form for Essex - scoring 56, 100, 85, 80 and 2.

"I never went to county cricket to get back in the team. I just went to play some cricket, and I thought it was the ideal time for me to go and explore county. It happened that I could perform and give myself a chance. More importantly, I should keep faith in myself," he said.

Except a hundred against Afghanistan in June, Vijay has made just 128 runs in five Tests this year. The poor scores do not bother Vijay and said it is more about finding the mental balance than technique.

"There wasn't any adjustment," he said. "It was a great experience because it wasn't easy. I should thank Essex for having me and giving me an opportunity to play the way I wanted to. We had a crucial three matches, and it really motivated me. I could step up and contribute, so I was happy to gain some experience there," he said.

On India's previous tour of Australia, Vijay scored nearly 500 runs with at 60.25 and he was happy that there will be enough time to get used to the local conditions.

"For me it's a mental game. It's never been a question of my ability. This time we have planned pretty well. We are going a little early and we are going to get a few practice games as well in Australia before we play the first Test match. That will be ideal for us. Hopefully our boys can gel as a team and put their best foot forward.

"Any international game is more of a mental game than about the attack or conditions. For me it is about keeping myself in a clear state of mind during practice and preparation. It's helping me out every game I play. It's just a matter of time where I can get a big one," he said.

Vijay said opposition bowlers should not be allowed to dominate if India want to do well against Australia. "You can't give bowlers the opportunity to settle down on their lengths. And especially a bowler of his calibre, you've got to be on top of the game all the time. Nathan Lyon and me had a good competition going, so I like to take up the challenge. Get some runs and put him on the back foot."

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    Story first published: Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 14:04 [IST]
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