Mohali: In-form India opener Murali Vijay reckons that India are well on course for their third consecutive win as it won't be easy for Australia to bat out the final day and save the third Test match, here Monday. "The ball has been swinging from day one, different conditions here, there is reverse swing happening. The wicket is slower and lower and it's going to be difficult for them tomorrow," Vijay, who cracked 153, his second century in a row, told reporters.
After conceding a 91-run first innings lead, the visitors were struggling at 75 for three at stumps, on the penultimate day with Bhuvneshwar producing a brilliant spell to remove openers David Warner (2), Ed Cowan (8) and Steven Smith (5), who was promoted ahead of injured captain Michael Clarke. At stumps, Phillip Hughes (53 batting) is fighting hard in the company of night-watchman Nathan Lyon (4).
"We are in a pretty good position at the moment considering the wicket and everything, and there is nothing to be worried about," the 28-year-old opener from Tamil Nadu said, when asked about Indias position in the match. As far as his batting was concerned, he said he was working hard on it. "I am working hard on my game, especially from that second innings in Chennai. I wanted to go the hard way, so tried to stay longer at the crease," he said when asked if it was a conscious decision to take his own time in settling down.
About Shikhar Dhawans batting, who yesterday became the fastest to reach a century by a debutant, Vijay had only words of appreciation. "Incredible the way he played..brilliant. When somebody is batting so well, I just wanted to play tighter as the run rate was already going at 4-5 per over. So I did not want to disturb his flow." At the start of the day, Vijay said the plan was to "just bat as long as possible and take a big lead."
Vijay today slammed his third Test century incidentally all three have come against Australia, and he said it felt good to score against the top team of the world. "I am happy and fine as long as I am scoring, no matter who the opposition is. But its a good feeling that I am scoring against Australia, they are number one team in the world." Coming back to his batting, Vijay said he "just wanted to play percentage cricket" rather than trying to be too aggressive.
And about his partnership with Dhawan he said, "We plan to have a big partnership, I am lucky and happy its going our way. Asked about his dismissal, he said it was "lapse in concentration" that did him in. Vijay thought it was not because of the lack of good spinners in the Australian attack, that the Indians have been scoring heavily. "I think we are just batting brilliantly, thats it."