Nottingham: Elated at scoring his maiden overseas hundred and fourth of his career, Indian opener Murali Vijay said his fine effort on the opening day of the first Test against England here was a dream come true for him.
Vijay's unbeaten 122 on Wednesday helped India hold their own at 259 for four at stumps after electing to bat at Trent Bridge.
"I had been hitting the ball well in practice games and in the nets. So I was in a positive frame of mind and wanted to give the team a good start. The pitch was good to bat on and I wanted to cash in this opportunity. I have dreamt of this and it is a happy feeling for me," said Vijay.
Murali Vijay. Pic/ AFP
Vijay had been getting starts in his last eight Test innings in South Africa and New Zealand, but yielded only one half century. It was something that perhaps played on his mind, but the batsman said that he did not change his approach, knowing that the runs will come.
"I cannot make any excuses for what happened there. I did get some good balls and I got out but at the end of the day the runs were not there on the board. So I learnt from that and I moved forward without thinking too much about it," he said.
"Patience is something that I have been working on. You need to bide your time at the crease and not be in a hurry. It is a five-day game and you want to tire the opposition out. So that has been my game-plan and this is what I have been working on all this while. Once you get set and the rhythm gets going, you enjoy in the middle," he added.
While Vijay was stroking his way through to the century, things started to go wrong for India in the second session when two quick wickets fell. But he added 71 runs with Ajinkya Rahane and then 81 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to help India to safety.
"After lunch it was reversing a bit and it was also a little windy. Anderson and Broad got the ball to move around a bit and we lost a couple of wickets as a result. So we had to regroup. We are not worried about their reverse swing because we have seen them deploy it in the past series and we have prepared for it," he said.
Asked if he was anxious to get to his hundred after staying on 99 for quite some time, he said, "No, not anxious. The bowlers were trying to bounce me, so I was just seeing it off. That's all." There has been a lot of talk about the pitch in the English camp. But as a batsman the Indian centurion seemed content.
"It is a good wicket for your first day of a Test series in England. The ball is easily coming to the bat. People have spoken about cloud cover and the ball swinging, so hopefully we will see that when it is out turn to bowl," Vijay said.