Test discard Murali Vijay is not done yet. At a time when India openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, are struggling and statemate, Abhinav Mukund, is under fire for being selected to the India ‘A’ team despite his poor run of scores on the previous ‘A’ tour, Vijay needed an opportunity to get back into the limelight.
On Sunday, he notched up the highest individual score in Irani Cup and brought himself into reckoning. His 266 helped Rest of India reach 607/7 declared on the third day and grab a huge lead of 254 in the first innings.
Vijay played the last of his 12 Tests in July 2011 in the West Indies, where poor form and a hand injury pushed him out of the national side. His ODI career is even less impressive with an average of 17.4 in 11 matches, the last of which was over a year-and-half back.
Ahead of last season he had said he'd need to score heavily for Tamil Nadu to catch the eye of the selectors. However, he failed to amass runs. Sunday’s effort though will make him happy.
Although the Rajasthan attack wasn’t incisive without Pankaj Singh and an injured Deepak Chahar cutting his spell short, Vijay displayed great concentration.
“The most satisfying thing was to stay that long at the wicket,” he said after the match.
He put up 100-plus stands with Ajinkya Rahane (81), skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (78) and S Badrinath (55) to see his side through on an easy track.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 1st innings 253, Rest of India 1st innings (overnight 328/2) 607/7 decl (M Vijay 266, Rahane 81, Pujara 78, Karthik 56, Badrinath 55; Khatri 3/125, Chahar 2/99, A Choudhary 1/112), Rajasthan 2nd innings 43/1 (Kanitkar batting 21, Saxena batting 17)