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Struggling Murali Vijay gets 'Jumbo' backing

Posted December 7th, 2016, 11:55 AM IST

Struggling Murali Vijay gets 'Jumbo' backing

Mumbai: India’s chief coach Anil Kumble feels that it is “unfair” to pinpoint senior opener Murali Vijay’s recent spate of dismissals to “short deliveries” as his “weakness”.

“Vijay has been one of our most consistent batsmen in the last couple of years. He has started off the series very well with a 100 at Rajkot and yes, he has got out to similar deliveries, which probably you can start pinpointing as his weakness, but I don’t think that’s fair. He is someone we believe is just round the corner to get a big score,” Kumble was firmly behind the seasoned opener.

The coach said that the team management is trying to help him out during nets, but there was no need to delve deeper into the issue.

“When we go out there at the nets, we try and help him (Vijay) with that kind of delivery. But I don’t think we need to go too deep into why he’s getting out that way. It’s just a matter of time where he will start scoring runs. We certainly believe it’s just round the corner.”

India’s opening woes have continued in this home season with Shikhar Dhawan losing form and then getting injured. KL Rahul had an injury lay-off while Gautam Gambhir also failed miserably.

Kumble said he is happy for the fact that the team has been doing well without a settled opening pair. “That’s not in our control as injuries are part and parcel of the game. Ideally yes, we would like a settled pair, but I think under the circumstances we have done really well. Unfortunately (KL) Rahul got injured (shoulder) while fielding in Vizag (in the second Test against England). Parthiv (Patel) came in, in the last game (at Mohali) and did a fantastic job,” said Kumble, ahead of the fourth game of the series against England commencing here two days later.

According the coach, he is confident that the Mangalore lad will make it in the final team. “I am sure Rahul will have a hit today and he should be fine. Let’s see how it goes. We had three different opening pairs against New Zealand (in the previous home series won by India 3-0) and even in the West Indies (Murali) Vijay got injured. Then Shikhar (Dhawan) got injured against New Zealand. Gautam had a freak injury in Indore against New Zeland, but he could bat. So I think something is happening with openers in terms of injury and I hope that it does not go on. There should be some stop at some stage,” he said.

Kumble was all praise for the bowlers and also the astute captaincy by Virat Kohli with his immaculate field placings. “It is a tribute to our bowling attack and field placements Virat has set as captain. And also bowl in partnerships according to the field. In the last few Test matches, all bowlers have had significant roles, either in getting just that one break-through or picking up a fifer — Ashwin did that.

“That there has been only one five-for in the series goes to show all bowlers have contributed really well. We hope we are able to continue irrespective of surfaces — all three surfaces were different. We changed those lengths, adjusted accordingly and also bowled aggressively.”

Kumble however refused to be drawn himself into a comparison between Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. “I am not someone who likes to compare. For me, the two fast bowlers have been brilliant right through I have come back as coach from the West Indies. Not just those two, but Bhuvi (Bhuvneshar Kumar) and Ishant (Sharma) too. All of them have contributed significantly.” He also praised the lower-order led by Ashwin for contributing with the bat too.

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