December 10, 2016 / 2:12 PM / 8 months ago

Vijay reaps reward for clearer mindset

Cricket - India v England - Fourth Test cricket match - Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India - 10/12/16. India's Murali Vijay plays a shot.Danish Siddiqui

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Murali Vijay's technique had been questioned in the run-up to the fourth test after the India opener got out three times during the series to short-pitched balls from the England fast bowlers.

The 32-year-old showed he had worked out the problem, however, with a fine 136 at the Wankhede Stadium.

The touring side dished up a number of bouncers to him but Vijay swayed away from most of them while dropping his wrists on the way to his eighth test century.

"I did think about it because I was playing a lot of those balls which I should have left alone and lot of other factors which I don't want to reveal at this moment," Vijay told reporters on Saturday.

"My basic game plan was to back my instinct and play the way I want to play."

Vijay started the five-match series with a century in the first innings of the opening test at Rajkot but could only manage 66 runs in his next five innings.

"I would like to rate this hundred highly because I started off well in this series but couldn't do well in couple of matches," he said.

"I couldn't play the way I wanted to play, I was getting out too early. Here I came out in a much clearer mindset."

His knock was studded with 10 fours and three sixes against the English spinners.

"Actually my game plan is to attack the spinners because I don't want them to settle in one particular area where they find it comfortable," he said.

"I just wanted to use my feet and use the depth of the crease and play according to my game plan and it came out pretty well I guess."

Captain Virat Kohli's unbeaten 147 ensured the hosts, who lead the series 2-0, were already 51 runs ahead in the first innings on a pitch assisting the spinners.

All 10 England wickets in the first innings went to spinners with Ravichandran Ashwin picking up six and left-armer Ravindra Jadeja taking the remaining four.

"Any lead is gold on this wicket, and so we think that we are definitely in a very strong position at the moment," said Vijay.

"During tea, we decided that we need to get as close to their target as possible but now the way Virat and Jayant (Yadav) are batting, I think we are in a pretty good position to dictate terms."

Editing by Ed Osmond

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