New Delhi: Having missed a few international games in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka owing to a recurrent hamstring injury, India opener Murali Vijay on Wednesday said he wants to attain peak fitness before the upcoming home series against South Africa.
"I am getting better. I should be fully fit," Vijay said days before the South Africa series preparatory camp that starts in Bangalore on September 21.
The Proteas' long tour starts in first week of next month with the first T20 International in Dharamsala on October 2. Recalling the Indian team's tour of South Africa in 2013, Vijay said the innings he played in the Johannesburg Test went a long way in bringing about a turnaround in his career.
"It was the 39 runs in the Johannesburg Test that turned things around for me," Vijay was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
"I could feel that I was batting well. That's what gave me confidence going into the Durban Test.
"I was under the pump and really wanted to come good. The ball was reversing in Durban and it helped that I play a lot of reverse swing back home at the domestic level," he said, recalling his 97-run knock.
"It has been a great journey for me ? the last one and a half year. But the best of me is yet to come."
After suffering a hamstring injury during the ODI and T20I series in Zimbabwe, Vijay missed the first Test in Sri Lanka, but played a key role in the team's win in the second game, making a dogged 82 in the second innings en route a 140-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane.
"I had a chat with the physio before the second Test and we decided I could play since I had done my rehabilitation well during the break (after the Zimbabwe tour). And I never had any doubts about my batting.
"In the second or third over of the innings, I tweaked the hamstring again and when I pushed for a single, I realised something was wrong inside.
"I was struggling to run quick singles and twos. That's when I decided that I should be a little more positive. I didn't want to put Ajinkya under pressure and disturb his tempo," Vijay said.
"I told Ajinkya 'You stay at one end and anchor the innings; I will take the risks'. I thought, even if I get out, Virat would be in next. He and Ajinkya are much fitter and can run hard between the wickets. I did not want to disturb Ajinkya's rhythm because at that time his wicket was more crucial to the team than mine," he added....