The Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy team was bolstered by the return of Murali Vijay for the match against Odisha at the DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack. The Indian Test opener joined the team just moments before the match as it will give him some much-needed batting practice ahead of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
Vijay was not included in the original 16 member Tamil Nadu squad for the Odisha match as both Ashwin and Vijay was given rest as they were supposed to join the national team from Cuttack for the opening Test starting at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 16.
According to reports in Times of India, it is learned that the Indian team management wanted Vijay to be in the groove ahead of the Test series against the Islanders. With the Test series scheduled to begin in less than a week’s time at the Eden Gardens, some of the national stars including Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami have opted out from the 5th round Ranji Trophy matches to give themselves ample rest ahead of the series.
Meanwhile, some of the certainties in the team including the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahanae and KL Rahul are taking part in the 5th round matches which will conclude on November 13.
Vijay has been out of the national team for nearly five months after sustaining a wrist injury during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia earlier in the year. He underwent a successful surgery in London and subsequently missed the Indian Premier League and the Test series in Sri Lanka. He returned to the cricketing arena during the Tamil Nadu Premier League and played a few Duleep, and Ranji Trophy matches to get some fair match practice and prove his fitness.
At lunch, Tamil Nadu were 102/1 with Vijay having spent some quality time in the middle. He was batting on 31 of 105 deliveries while Jagadeeshan was batting on 55. Vijay lost his opening partner Abhinav Mukund which was the only wicket to fall till the first interval.