The 34-year-old was dropped from the squad for the fourth and fifth Tests after scoring only 26 runs in the first two matches including a pair at Lord’s.
While many have speculated that this could be the end of the road for Vijay given his age, the Tamil Nadu batsman has not given up hopes of forcing his way back into the Test squad.
“I will be back playing for India. I am positive, will sort a few things out, make runs,” Vijay told reporters on the sidelines on the sidelines of a local club match in Chennai.
“Firstly, I want India to win the series in England. It is not the first time this has happened to me.”
“I believe age is only a number. As long as my feet move and my head is still, I will continue to play.
“The English pacemen had their gameplan worked out this time, bowling closer to my body and making me play a lot more deliveries,” he added.
Since making his debut for India in 2008, Vijay has gone on to register 3, 933 runs in 59 Tests at an average of 39.33.
In the process, he had notched up 12 tons and 15 half-centuries.
The hosts now have an overall second-innings lead of 233 on hand with two wickets to spare as they seek to clinch the series with a win.
It was a frustrating day for the Indians on the field on day three, especially for Ravichandran Ashwin whose figures in the second innings now read 1-78. Here, we take a closer look at the off-spinner’s performance in England’s second innings.
OVERS BOWLED: 35
RUNS CONCEDED: 78
India’s sole spinner for the Test was meant to be their trump card given England all-rounder Moeen Ali’s excellent showing with the ball in the first innings. That did not prove to be the case with Ashwin struggling to get among the wickets. The 31-year-old went wicketless until his 27th over where he finally got the better of Ben Stokes. He came back for a spell with the second new-ball but was once again frustrated as England’s batsmen dealt with him in a much more authoritative fashion.
Very rarely did Ashwin get it right on day three at Southampton with his trademark flight missing for the most part. When he did get the ball to dip from above the batsman’s eye line, the spinner was in business with the ball generating some sharp turn and bounce. That is exactly how he accounted for Stokes’ dismissal with the England all-rounder deceived by the guile and flight.
The highly experienced India spinner was guilty of bowling too short and too quick on plenty of occasions on day three. Ashwin seemed too eager to take wickets and failed to build any sustained pressure on the batsmen, allowing them to rotate the strike comfortably due to his sometimes wayward bowling. Despite England’s long list of southpaws in their batting ranks, the off-spinner failed to create the impact skipper Virat Kohi would have expected from him.
VERDICT – 5/10
Perhaps it was the hip injury sustained in the third Test at Trent Bridge that played a part in Ashwin’s non effectiveness on day three. Whatever be the case, it was not a display Ashwin would have been proud off given the fact that he had started the series on fire.
After bagging seven wickets in the opening Test at Edgbaston, Ashwin has claimed only three wickets in the subsequent matches. His display on Saturday will give further ammunition to his detractors who feel the spinner is not as effective in overseas conditions. On a pitch where Moeen Ali claimed 5-63 in the first innings, Ashwin would have been expected to deliver similarly for the visitors but that wasn’t to be the case in the end.