Trent Bridge Test: Murali Vijay's back foot play came shining through
Nottingham: Murali Vijay's game is prospering with each outing. As India embarked on their back-to-back tours of New Zealand and South Africa earlier this year, the general consensus was that Vijay's lack of back foot play would expose him severely.
In the eight innings, he averaged 24.50, unimpressive figures, but it was the time he occupied in the middle that was crucial.
On an average, he batted for 62 balls, which is similar to what Sri Lankan opener, Kaushal Silva achieved in the recent Test series win over England. It paved a path for the strokemakers and led to a Sri Lanka's win.
First ton abroad
Vijay's resilient hundred, his first outside of India, showcased his temperament. Even though he had failed to score a ton in the last eight innings, his innings at Trent Bridge was a mirror image of how he had played in the four Test matches away from home.
He has been unlucky in a few of his dismissals, caught down the leg side couple of occasions and receiving some fine deliveries.
Rarely could he have been blamed for a poor stroke and to his credit, he persisted. Finally his luck turned as he scored a ton at the iconic Test venue.
Vijay's ability to leave the ball has been exemplary. Yesterday was no different and importantly, his back foot play appeared to be prospering, a thought echoed by Rahul Dravid on BBC radio.
"Vijay has improved his back foot play significantly. He didn't have a great back foot game and only had one form of defending," said Dravid.
The Trent Bridge wicket might have been tailor made for his game but along the way he was resolute against the variety of tactics hurled at him by England captain Alastair Cook. Rarely was he deterred by any of them and stuck to his game plan.
It is a positive sign for India that they have nurtured a batsman, who understands his game so well to succeed in any conditions.