India opener Vijay eager to keep progressing


Murali Vijay is determined to maintain his impressive form as India strive to secure a Test series victory over South Africa.

The opening batsman played a key role in the victory in Mohali, making 75 and 47 in a low-scoring first Test which the hosts won by 108 runs.

Vijay was unbeaten on 28 at stumps on day one in the second Test, but was unable to build on that encouraging start due to rain which washed out the next four days with India 80-0 in reply to the Proteas' 214 all out.

The 31-year-old is eager to continue his rich vein of form at the expense of the top-ranked side in Test cricket ahead of the third Test in Nagpur, which commences on Wednesday.

"I have tried to put the team in a good position and it has been working for me. I am in a good state of mind and that is more important for me at the moment," he said.

"I prepare to succeed in all the three formats of the game but at the moment I am fitting in the Test side. I am working hard on my batting and my aim is to keep improving in every session.

"In the last two years I have been travelling around the world and have got good experience. I have learnt a lot in terms of how to keep myself organised in the middle."

Vijay was also quick to praise the India bowlers' contribution, with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra causing the Proteas all kinds of problems.

He added: "As a team the bowlers doing well gives you a lot of confidence because the momentum is always with you. If you keep taking wickets the batsmen will be ready to go in.

"Being a good bowling unit is what most teams are after, and hopefully we can do that on a consistent basis.

"The pressure that we have put on their batsmen has been incredible to watch from the close-in fielder's point of view. It has been a cat and mouse game and it has been going well for us.

"There is constant effort from both the teams to put pressure on the batsmen and it has been a good contest to be part of."