Murali Vijay terms controversial Pune pitch challenging

Bengaluru, March 1 (IANS) After match referee Chris Broad rated the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium pitch as “poor”, Indian opener Murali Vijay on Wednesday said the controversial Pune track was challenging rather than “poor”.

The first Test match of the four-match series finished inside three days with Australia claiming a 333-run victory as left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe took six wickets in each innings.

The Pune pitch spun prodigiously from ball one in a match dominated by spin bowling which came back to haunt the hosts, who were rolled for 105 and 107 in their two innings inside three days.

“Pune wicket was not poor. It was a challenging wicket and as cricketers, we need to play on such wickets sometimes rather than playing on flat tracks. Actually, it is a good thing to play on wickets which test your character and technique,” Vijay told mediapersons, ahead of their second Test match, starting on March 4 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

The 32-year-old also backed the bowlers for restricting Australia to 260 in the first innings.

“I personally thought bowlers did a great job. After conceding a big first innings lead, it was always going to be difficult. We did not play ourselves well,” Vijay said.

Vijay informed that the team is now rectifying their mistakes that happened in Pune and is focusing on the next game.

“We had a chat about it and we have been working on a few of the areas where we could have done much better in the last Test match. We are looking forward to starting afresh and take all catches coming our way,” he said.