NEW DELHI: Picking the XI for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, that gets under way at the Kotla here from Saturday was for the team management to take a call on, in-form opener Murali Vijay said here on match eve. With three in the running between himself, Lokesh Rahul and the returning Shikhar Dhawan for the top two slots in the batting order, Vijay said the team were ready to implement whatever plans the management drew up as India seek a record-equalling win with a possible ninth straight series victory.
“Whatever the team management does decide, we are well-equipped and are all looking to contribute. I don’t know how they are going to play around with the team. It’s absolutely their choice and we are ready to do it for the team,” said the opening batsman who had a profitable outing at Nagpur after sitting out the opening Test in Kolkata.
Dhawan and Rahul scored 94 and 79 in the second innings at Kolkata on a juicy pitch. With Dhawan opting out of the second Test, it was Vijay, who has 3,536 runs in 52 Tests with 10 hundreds, who made a successful comeback with a patient century. With either Dhawan or Rahul set to be benched for the Kotla game, Vijay was asked about how the three dealt with the situation.
“We are very good friends off the field and that makes it much easier. Definitely, it unsettles the opener who is playing regularly. We three share a good rapport outside the field and this will help us big time during the series coming ahead and the future,” Vijay said. Being open about their feelings when one or the other had to sit a game out helped a great deal, Vijay said. “Make it easier, lighter and more fun. Talking about it openly and having a good chat over it rather than keeping things within yourself and making the other person feel it.”