New Delhi: Looking to grab the Zimbabwe opportunity with both hands, Indian opener Murali Vijay said that he was certainly expecting a call up in the ODI squad after putting in some effort in 32 Test appearances since 2008.
On board to tour Zimbabwe for a three ODI and two T20 match series, Vijay is part of a second string 15-member Indian squad led by Ajinkya Rahane. The Tamil Nadu opener is happy to make an ODI comeback after two years when he last played against Sri Lanka.
"It is a happy feeling to make a comeback to ODIs. I have been batting well in Tests, so I just have to grab the opportunity that has come my way. As a player I was expecting the call-up. I was the third opener for four series, including the 2013 Champions Trophy, but could not get a game," Vijay told ESPNcricinfo.
"I have always believed in myself. It is not about competing with anybody. I always compete with myself and I look to improve as far as I can. It is not that I am going to play as a third opener and be happy. I will never be happy. I have always wanted to be the leading batsman for Indian cricket," he added.
Sans a half-century in the 14 ODIs that he has played for India, Vijay dismisses any talk of self-doubt regarding his game.
"Never. I have been working on my game, on my basics. I have been waiting for the opportunity without rushing myself. Before, when I got the opportunities, they were stop-start. Now that I have got another opportunity, I am just happy and excited to go and express myself on the field," Vijay said.
"I am not a guy who will give excuses, but you have got to consider the number of matches I have played on the trot. That matters a lot as a batsman. It is not an excuse. I never got a string of ODIs or series. I had to adapt to that in the past," he added.
The 31-year-old player also played down any talk of being suited to play the longer format better than the limited-overs version. "I never see myself as seeing off a new ball. I always have the intent to play the ball. If the ball is not to be played, I leave it. It is not that I go in to bat with the intention that I have to leave these many balls. It is just that I want to play little more compact to have the upper hand against the bowler. That is my thinking," he said.
"There are two ways to look at it: either you go aggressive or you go defensive. But all I want to do is give myself more confidence by countering an attack in a good spell in a proper way, and then I can cash in. So I am always thinking of attacking in my mind," he said.