Shastri lifts mood of the team: Vijay

Chennai, Sep 18 (IANS) India Test batsman Murali Vijay heaped praise on Ravi Shastri, saying that the team director lifts the mood of the squad and that his arrival has helped everything fall in place.

Shastri’s contract was recently extended along with that of Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R. Sridhar (fielding coach) of the Indian team by the Board of Control for ricket in India (BCCI) till the 2016 World Twenty20.

“Ravi bhai has his own style of putting it across. He lifts the mood to 100 percent. Just the energy you get on to the table. At the right time, I think, he has come. It’s all fallen in place,” Vijay was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.

“Obviously, Bharat Arun, Sanjay Bangar and R. Sridhar as well have been great. Everybody is trying to do his best to give us the best atmosphere,” he said.

Vijay’s role in India’s recently-concluded 2-1 Sri Lanka series win was limited to the second Test at the P. Sara Oval ground where he scored 0 and 82 in India’s 278-run victory.

He missed the first and third Tests with a hamstring injury, and has been working on his fitness for the forthcoming South Africa series.

India will play three T20Is, five One-Day Internationals (ODI) followed by four Tests against a visiting South African side.

“Actually, I’m pretty excited about the South Africa series and only one thing I’m concentrating at the moment is my fitness. I’ve been working on my rehabilitation. So, I think pretty good three weeks,” Vijay said.

“I’m on the right track at the moment, and am happy about it. But, I am not thinking too far ahead because there’s a month and a half to go for the Test series,” he said.

The 31-year-old said missing two Test matches in Sri Lanka was tough but he is currently focused on his fitness and getting his basics in batting right.

“Missing a couple of Test matches in Sri Lanka is tough time for me, but cannot think over it or something like that because injuries do happen in any sport. All I am trying to do is work on my batting, basics, my fitness and my fielding aspect of where I am going to stand,” the batsman from Chennai said.

Speaking about the rise of India’s new batting core comprising Vijay himself, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, the opening batsman termed the combination as unbelievable and a healthy competition.

“It’s been unbelievable because everybody is talented. It’s a healthy competition,” Vijay concluded.

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