For Murali Vijay, a switch in format means slump in form

With 430 runs, including two centuries and a fifty, M Vijay finished as the leading run-scorer in the Tests against Australia this year. The Tamil Nadu opener’s performance was crucial in the 4-0 series rout, which also cemented his position as a Test opener.

Vijay does not hide his flamboyance. The tattoos, haircut and the coolers are for everyone to see. A touch of that flair is evident in his game as well. It is that attempt of his to play to the gallery which has led to many of Vijay’s downfalls.

However, against Australia, it was a subdued Vijay. He played second fiddle to Shikhar Dhawan, and almost enjoyed the role of an anchor as he piled up a mountain of runs.

SLUMP IN FORM

With the kind of form he was in when the league began, Vijay should have been leading the charts. But it has been a struggle for survival in the game’s shortest format. With just one fifty in eight games, and a total of 122 runs, the Chennai Super Kings batsman has looked out of sorts.

Vijay has also been guilty of playing rash shots. In the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he stepped out to Amit Mishra in an attempt to hit him to the Marina beach but missed and was stumped. Suddenly, the carelessness in Vijay’s game appeared to have made a return and he is in danger of being portrayed as arrogant.

If CSK bowling coach Andy Bichel is to be believed, Vijay is fighting the problems of modern-day cricket. “Switching formats is not easy. After a fabulous Test series against Australia, Vijay is finding it a little difficult to adjust to T20 cricket. But it happens to everyone. We saw the same happen with David Warner as well.”

Bichel said it was all about keeping the faith. “He is a quality player. He is worth investing in.”

 

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