Brisbane, Dec 17: His four Test hundreds out of five career tons have come while playing against the Australians and Indian opener Murali Vijay today attributed his special liking for the Aussies to the inspiration he got from the great knocks of legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar.
Vijay, nicknamed Monk, scored 144 runs on day one of the second Test against Australia, his fourth Test hundred (out of five) against the same opposition. "Maybe I am playing against them too often," Vijay said jokingly at the press conference after the day's play.
"I always like to play against Australia. When I was a kid, I used to see a lot of knocks played by my seniors, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid in Adelaide and VVS Laxman. Those are the knocks we have seen as youngsters," he said.
The 30-year-old right-handed batsman said he was happy to have done well so far in his first tour of Australia. "This is the first time I have been playing overseas against Australia. Australia are one of the best teams and getting runs against them always helps you gain confidence in the match as well as a person. I am thankful to all the people back home who have been supporting me. It feels good that I am batting well and getting some runs for the team," he said.
It was a tough, hot day at the Gabba as India finished at 311 for four. Australia were hit with a spate of injuries as Mitchell Marsh was ruled out to bowl again with an injured right hamstring, while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood suffered intense cramps.
"Today it was really hot and it was testing us all. I could see bowlers sulking out there and I thought a lot of people are getting tired. So I waited at the crease and made good use of it," said the centurion.
"It was more mentally challenging than mentally draining. There were a lot of suffering from the heat but when you are playing for your country, you have got to be equipped for this. I have worked hard on my fitness. You have got to do your stuff to the best of your ability," he added.