Indian opener Murali Vijay asked to play Ranji Trophy ahead of India-Sri Lanka Test series
What's the story?
Ahead of their crucial Ranji Trophy encounter against Odisha at the DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack, Tamil Nadu received a massive boost as India opener Murali Vijay joined the team at the last moment to bolster the side.
Vijay was not part of the initial 16-man TN squad for the Odisha match as both he and R Ashwin were given a brief rest because they were supposed to join the Indian side from Cuttack for the first Test starting in Kolkata from November 16.
According to reports in Times of India, it is understood that the Indian team management wanted the right-hander to be in the groove before the Lanka Test series and thus Vijay was added to the squad at the last minute.
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With the Test series against Sri Lanka starting in Kolkata on November 16, few Indian cricketers including R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami have opted to sit out of the fifth round Ranji Trophy matches to get some much-deserved rest.
The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, who are certainties in the Indian Test squad, are taking part in the fifth round matches that will end on 13th November.
Vijay was out of action for nearly five months after suffering a wrist injury in the Test series against Australia earlier this year. He had a successful surgery in London and missed the IPL and the Test series in Sri Lanka.
He made a comeback during the 2017 TNPL and played few Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy matches to prove his fitness and gain some match practice.
Tamil Nadu went into lunch on day one at 102/1 with Vijay looking solid on 31 off 105 balls while N Jagadeesan is unbeaten on 55. Abhinav Mukund is the only wicket to fall as he was run out for 12, thanks to a mix-up between him and Vijay.
Vijay has been a bit rusty since his return and with international assignments coming up, it is not a bad call by the Indian team management to make sure that their first-choice opener is raring to go when the matches get underway from November 16.
Vijay has got off to a good start against Odisha and the Indian opener should look to make it big as it will help him boost his confidence ahead of the Sri Lanka series.