Barring a handful of limited-overs matches for Tamil Nadu and sporadic appearances in the TNPL, Murali Vijay has mostly been a spectator when it comes to white-ball cricket in the last couple of years. The 33-year-old, representing Kings XI Punjab, was ruled out of the IPL last year due to wrist and shoulder injuries. More recently, he battled hard for India in the three-match Test series against South Africa and then featured for his state in a couple of Vijay Hazare Trophy matches.
Now back to familiar surroundings with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the upcoming IPL, Vijay can’t wait to get started under MS Dhoni once again.
“I always have a free mind. I’m blessed to have had some time off to get myself fitter and I’m really looking forward to this IPL stint. I’m ready to go. I want April 7 to come early,” Vijay said during an event in the city on Thursday (March 22).
“It is a dream-come-true moment for me to be back with CSK. To represent the franchise and put up a show for them is always a pleasure. I’m good enough to do that. Hopefully, I can be consistent and contribute to winning causes,” he added.
Vijay first made his name in the shorter formats during his earlier stint with CSK, slamming two centuries and playing an integral role in the title-winning feats of 2010 and 2011. Having retained the core of their team for the 11th edition, the India Test opener is confident they can recreate their past magic.
“The one good thing about playing for CSK is that we always put the team ahead of individual performances. Franchise-based cricket is very difficult because foreigners and domestic players need to have the right rapport to help the team play at a competitive level. We did it with ease in the past. That is going to be important from the start of the season, and hopefully we can do it with more fun and flair,” said Vijay.
When asked if he was open to a county stint keeping in mind the England Test series post the IPL, Vijay said that there were queries from several English counties on his availability after he wasn’t picked on Day 1 of the IPL auction.