India opener Murali Vijay has expressed his thoughts about his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a double century in the third Test against Australia in Ranchi. He said that the latter has the ability to absorb pressure and that helps the other batsmen to play their natural game.
Showering praises for Pujara, Vijay said: "Pujara has the game for it. He takes a lot of pressure. His game is such that you can depend on him and play your natural game. It goes hand in hand. We both are in good form as well, so it helps the team at the moment."
Vijay and Pujara built a 102 runs partnership for the second wicket and successfully countered the Aussie pace attack.
Talking about the match situation, Vijay said, "I think the game is evenly poised. If we can get closer to the target and may be if possible extend a lead from there, it would be a good game in hand. They were bowling really tight, to be honest. I and Pujara had a talk in between, the main goal was to see off the initial phase."
He further added, "We knew if we put them under pressure we can get a lot of runs in the second and third session. That was the basic idea. It came out pretty well. We could have been in the much better position if I had not got out."
Australian pacer Pat Cummins has taken the most no. of wickets for Australia even after making a comeback after more than five years. Praising his efforts, Vijay said, "He was bowling really well. He was sharp in the early spell. Then he was trying to bowl one line to us but as soon as the wicket fell, he had extra gas. So I think it was a good challenge for us to battle against him."
Cummins was the bowler who dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli, who continued his lean patch and got out for six. Defending his skipper, Vijay said, "He's a world-class player. To judge any player on two three innings is unfair. It's just a matter of time for him to get back into runs. I think it would be sooner than later."
Talking about his innings of 82, Vijay said, "I was not disappointed actually because the shot was on. With mid-on, mid-off inside, I thought it was my shot but the situation was wrong I guess and the execution was not up to the mark.The previous ball before I got out, I saw there was not much spin. I thought fine, there was the scoring opportunity for me. I backed my instinct but it did not come out my way."
Vijay concluded by talking about the feeling of playing 50th Test, he said: "It's a great feeling, to be honest. I can still remember the first time I joined the Indian team. All I can say is I'm grateful, It's a great journey so far. Hopefully, I can keep my fitness level and keep prolonging my career. The Lord's Test win is one thing that stands out."