Vijay practises with tennis balls ahead of Kotla Test

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 01, 2017 19:00 hrs
vijay kotla practice

New Delhi: On the eve of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, prolific India opener Murali Vijay was seen practising with tennis balls during the team's practice session at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Friday.

On being probed during the pre-match press conference, the Tamil Nadu batsman played it down saying he wanted to add variety to his sessions.

"I was trying to do something different in my practice (sessions). It was some fun and it challenges me to be better each and every day," he quipped.

Going into the final Test, which the Indians are using as a final preparation for the tougher South African tour later this month, the Indian team management seems to have a problem of plenty in choosing between the three opening options -- Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan.

But Vijay didn't look too perturbed and said he and his fellow openers are good friends on and off the field, and that the camaraderie helps them do well out in the middle despite the opening combination yet to be sorted out.

"It doesn't matter (settled opening pair). We three are good friends off the field and it makes it easier to do well. We three are in good form and it will help us in the future series," he said.

In the first Test at the Eden Gardens, India opened with Rahul and Dhawan before the Delhi southpaw withdrew from the second game in Nagpur where Vijay scored a magnificent century.

Dhawan also looked in fine touch in Kolkata, and so was Rahul before he failed to fire in the second Test, which India won by an innings and 239 runs.

Commenting on the wicket at the Kotla, Vijay said: "It is a nice wicket to play. Hopefully, the wicket plays good and we get a good experience before the South Africa tour.

"The wicket has grass, like the first two Tests -- that's (having greentops) the whole point of this series -- and hopefully the wicket plays good," he said.

Vijay insisted that the team won't be in much trouble during the South Africa tour, comprising three Tests, six One-day Internationals and three T20 Internationals, despite India playing only one warm-up game ahead of the opening Test.

"We've been playing Test cricket for a while, with the same team. It's important for us to communicate with each other and this will add more value than having a hit in the centre.

"We should clear our head about what we're going to do, and there are plans for team-building activities so hopefully we can enjoy this tour," he said.

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