Murali Vijay settling for a new role
Murali Vijay, India’s dependable opener in Test cricket surprised everyone by playing at Number 4 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for his side, Tamil Nadu.
Now that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are the 2 set openers for the India's One-Day Internationals, Murali Vijay is looking forward to grab a spot in the middle order. The 31-year-old Tamil Nadu player doesn’t want to close the option of playing down at number four or five.
Of late, Suresh Raina’s form has been a problem for the team in the middle order. He managed to score only 68 runs in 5 ODIs against the South Africans recently. Vijay is up for the challenge and is looking forward to play in the median part of the team. Ambati Rayudu has been a part of the team for long now but hasn’t produced anything note-worthy.
Vijay is looking forward to be a part of the 50-over side for the Australian Tour. He could go in as an opener or as a middle-order batsman. Murali Vijay was very close to being selected in the ODI team earlier this year but was omitted with Stuart Binny given a chance by virtue of being an all-rounder.
Vijay has scored 115 runs at an average of 38.55 from the three matches he has played in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The Tamil Nadu batsman has always believed that he could play a vital role in the One-Day squad and deserves another chance.
According to a source close to Vijay, “Having done so well in Tests in the last few seasons, Vijay is now looking to cement his place in the Indian ODI and T20s side. At the moment, the middle-order appears to be the only slot which can accommodate him.”
Therefore, Vijay is looking forward to find himself a spot in the One-Day teams and it’s only fair to say that only the middle order could accommodate him.
According to the Tamil Nadu coach, M Sanjay, the decision to bat Murali down the order was a team decision, he said, “The Tamil Nadu skipper R Ashwin had a chat with Vijay since we felt the latter has a lot of experience and will strengthen our middle-order. Not only is he a good reader of the situation, Vijay has the range of shots which could give us the much needed big hits in the last few overs of the innings.”
Sanjay believes that Vijay is quickly adapting to his new role and he further added, when he talked to TOI, “Vijay has always been a team man to the core. He understood what the team expected of him and was able to adapt to the situation right from the first game against Assam. In the match against Mumbai, he scored a well-compiled 55 that set the platform for us to notch a total in excess of 300. I think the decision to make him bat in the middle-order has paid off.”
It would be exciting to see if Vijay can make it to the T20I and the ODI squad with the Australian series, Asia Cup and obviously the World T20 lined up ahead of us next year.