33-Year-Old Batsman India
September 16, 2017 Murali Vijay News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Vijay (shoulder) took five wickets in India Green's defeat to India Red in the Duleep Trophy at Lucknow.
The talented batsman made his mark with the ball, not the bat as he continues to work back from a shoulder injury that cost him the Western summer. He was fairly economical and led his side with five wickets across the two innings, though his bat remained dormant, scoring just 17 runs on a bowler-friendly pitch. The 33-year-old struggled a bit in the two Test series he participated in (Bangladesh and Australia) as it was later revealed he played through a fractured wrist, in addition to his injured shoulder.
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Fantasy AnalysisVijay has been out since the final Australia Test in late-March with shoulder and wrist injuries and hasn't healed as quickly as anticipated, pushing back his return until at least the end of this series. With Lokesh Rahul also missing at least the first Test due to viral illness, India are down both of their opening batsmen.
Fantasy AnalysisThe experienced opener has been out since the Dharamsala Test against Australia at the end of March and had been playing hurt since the end of 2016 when he injured his shoulder against England. Despite that, he still put up some solid scores including an opening century against Bangladesh at Hyderabad. With both he and his opening partner, Lokesh Rahul, aiming for fitness in time for the start of the series, India could have their preferred opening partnership in time for the start of the series. Vijay also intimated that he wishes to play in all three formats; however, he hasn't played in India's limited-overs squads since July 2015 against Zimbabwe.
Fantasy AnalysisDuring India's marathon Test season, Vijay sustained a shoulder injury in the fifth fixture versus England in mid-December. He wasn't deterred, though, crushing a century in the first innings of the first Test with Australia in early February. Although he proceeded to miss the second match against the Aussies, he wrapped up the series with appearances in each of the final three such outings. In a recent interview, Vijay revealed that he played through a "fractured wrist" during the latter stretch, which inhibited his ability to handle seamers. In the end, he expects to "pick up the bat again" in May or June, more or less ruling out the batsman for the rest of IPL10.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay toughed out the ailments during India's home Test season, but his IPL team, Kings XI, is awaiting word about the potential for shoulder surgery. If India physio Patrick Farhart advises that a procedure is necessary, Vijay will likely be absent from the 10th edition of the popular Indian domestic league. Having said that, Kings XI could still have one of their key batsmen available in their first match on April 8.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay tormented Australia’s spinners with an array of slog sweeps on day 3. The 32-year-old opener took them for 52 runs on the leg side alone including five boundaries from sweep shots and a huge six over long-on. He strung together a 102-run stand with centurion Cheteshwar Pujara, adding 59 runs to Pujara’s 40. Vijay lost patience as he approached his ton though, walking straight past left-arm spinner Steven O’Keefe’s leg-side half-volley into the waiting hands of Matthew Wade, who took a regulation stumping.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay was gifted a second chance while sitting on 35, after a botched run saw him and batting partner Cheteshwar Pujara at the same end of the wicket. A frantic dash back only saved him when bowler Mehedi Hasan failed to scoop up the throw from Kamrul Islam and missed the run-out chance. The near-miss did nothing to dent his confidence, and the Indian batsman went on for a total of 12 fours and a six before being bowled out by Taijul Islam for 108.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter losing his over-night partner Cheteshwar Pujara second ball of the morning, Vijay combined with India captain Virat Kohli for a third-wicket partnership of 116, of which Vijay scored 66. Vijay started day 3 on 70 runs and took 62 balls to reach triple figures. The 32-year-old opening batsman's eight Test hundred came from 231 ball total, including eight fours and three sixes. This is Vijay's second hundred of the series, he scored 126 in the first Test, in Rajkot.
Fantasy AnalysisThe Indian opener was dismissed in the last over of the second day for his seventh test match hundred on a score of 126 from 301 deliveries in what was an essential innings in India's chase of England's first innings total. Vijay's partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara was worth 209 runs and is the highest of the match so far.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay’s last three innings haven’t been so great, scoring 9 and 7 before perishing for 10 against New Zealand on the first day of the third Test in the current series against New Zealand. Vijay started with promise, he drove New Zealand swing bowler Trent Boult for two boundaries in the third over. However, in the fifth over Jeetan Patel drew Vijay into a flick that ended up in the hands of Tom Latham at short leg, after a few attempts.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay's fall to Ish Sodhi in the 59th over heralded the start of a run of cheap wickets for the New Zealand bowlers, hobbling India's battle to maintain its early batting form. While he led his side in runs scored on day one, the Indians could only eke out 106 runs from the following five wickets to put them at nine for 291 at stumps.
Fantasy AnalysisTaking a back seat to Hashim Amla at the outset of the game, Vijay announced his presence with back-to-back boundaries to conclude the fifth, as the duo cruised to 52 in the Powerplay. Shortly thereafter, Amla and then Wriddhiman Saha were dismissed by opposition captain MS Dhoni's favored weapon (spin), but Vijay kept up a steady pace with Gurkeerat Singh. By the time Vijay was bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 16th, the partnership produced 58 runs, which was a cornerstone in the first-innings mark of 172. In dramatic fashion, though, Dhoni, the legend, reached deep and wrapped up a successful chase with successive maximums off Axar Patel.
Fantasy AnalysisFaced with a steep climb to 175 at the outset of the second innings, Kings XI reached the ropes in each over of the Powerplay but the first and, despite losing Hashim Amla along the way, sat on 50/1 upon its conclusion. Vijay continued onward with Wriddhiman Saha until the latter and David Miller were dismissed on the last two balls of the 11th. With two modest stands in his back pocket, Vijay and Marcus Stoinis merely exchanged the strike in the 12th before he unleashed a barrage of fours, striking seven of his 12 for the match. In the end, Vijay added 43 for the fourth wicket, which doubled as his departure as he holed out to square leg in the midst of the death, but Stoinis did his best impression of Punjab's captain, only to come up one run short of the win.
Fantasy AnalysisTaking on the role of captain from the uninspiring David Miller, Vijay's success with the bat translated to his playing XI decisions, with the insertion of Marcus Stoinis and Wriddhiman Saha yielding the desired result. With the former, Vijay launched an immediate assault on Gujarat's bowlers, accounting for 31 of the 34 runs through four overs. In the two overs remaining in the Power Play, Stoinis showed off his prowess with the bat, with three boundaries dotting the landscape and another just three balls before his dismissal in the seventh. Vijay outlasted three more teammates, but his remaining partnerships resulted in five, zero, three, and 27 runs. After his second half century of IPL9, he's on the doorstep of his seventh season in a row with at least 200 runs.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay and Manan Vohra had a semi-daunting task on their hands: hunt down 152, or the highest score to that point in IPL9 without a six in the tally. Among his first 14 balls, he hit a trio of fours and the first six of the match to chart a possible path to victory. Eventually, though, he was tasked with exchanging the strike while Vohra aimed for the fences, supplying three additional boundaries -- two fours and one six -- before top-edging one from legspinner Murugan Ashwin to keeper MS Dhoni. Vijay will seek out his third score of 40-plus when Punjab hosts KKR on Tuesday.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay's sole appearance in the middle Test at Sri Lanka was sandwiched by two absences due to a hamstring injury, settling for a duck and an 82 in his innings. Proving his fitness will be of utmost importance with the first of three T20s landing on Oct. 2, which kicks off the 72-day series.
Fantasy AnalysisVijay was held out of the first test of the tour due to the injury but returned for the second fixture, scoring a duck and 82 in his innings. Along the way, though, he aggravated the ailment and will "need further strength training to recover completely." With more than a month until India begins its next series against South Africa on Oct. 2, he has a great chance to heal for the three T20s, five ODIs, and four tests over the course of the subsequent months. In any case, Karun Nair will take over Vijay's spot in the playing XI to conclude the current series.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter missing the first Test in order to tend to a hamstring injury, Vijay may have been forced into action early due to the loss of Shikhar Dhawan to a fractured right hand, as he was beaten inside edge on a full toss on the fourth ball of the match. No matter, fellow opener Lokesh Rahul (108 off 190) salvaged India's chances, accounting for a 164-run stand with captain Virat Kohli and 55 more with Rohit Sharma. Vijay will attempt to bounce back when the second innings roll around.
Fantasy AnalysisDuring last month's series in Zimbabwe, Vijay sustained the ailment yet still played in all three ODIs and both T20s. After logging one off nine in the opener, he followed the quick exit with no score lower than 13 in the next four matches, including 72 in the second ODI and 34 in the first T20. The loss for the current series is a significant one for India, as Vijay has racked up more than 1,000 runs in his last 10 Tests, with three centuries and six fifties across 19 innings en route to a 54.42 average. While the opening batsman will be replaced by KL Rahul for the initial Test against Sri Lanka, it's unclear if Vijay will be healthy enough for the opening of the second fixture on Aug. 20.
Fantasy AnalysisWith numerous veterans getting the trip off for purposes of rest, Vijay is poised to take part in his first ODI since July of 2013. In his 13 innings in the format, he's averaged 19.46 at a miserable 66.40 strike rate. Those figures won't experience a rebound if his performance in his year's IPL (22.81 average and 110.08 strike rate) are any indication.
Fantasy AnalysisFollowing his significant purchase price of Rs 3 crore in February's auction, according to ESPN Cric Info, Vijay held down a spot at the top of the order for last year's finalist. However, he failed to replicate that unit's quick starts, failing to tally a half century or better for the first time since the 2009 IPL campaign. In any case, the 31-year-old didn't live up to the hype.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter an appearance in each of Punjab's first seven games of IPL8, Vijay was left off the playing XI against the Daredevils on Friday, perhaps with the hope that a change at the top of the order would turn around their waning fortunes. Alas, it was not to be, with the Top 4 batsmen falling within the first 21 balls. Vijay's presence don't bring about the desired outcome and held Kings XI at the bottom of the standings, but he posted his second tally of 30-plus in the last three games, bumping his average for the tournament to 24.62, which lines up with his career IPL mark of 25.36.
Fantasy AnalysisTo commence the second innings, Vijay was contained to two off his first eight, which coincided with Virender Sehwag's run out on the last ball of the second over. While Vijay slowly but surely edged his run rate above a run per ball, he suffered the same fate in the seventh over with Kings XI residing at 42/1 and 192 to pursue. Since starting this tournament with back-to-back 30s, he's averaged a miserable 13.33 at a strike rate of 100.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter producing two fours during a 10-run first over, Vijay effectively exchanged the strike with his partners but for a few instances. He hit four more fours and one six prior to his dismissal in the 11th over, partnering up with Virender Sehwag for 60 off 40, Glenn Maxwell for eight off six, and David Miller for 20 off 16. Despite 37 and 35 runs in his first two fixtures of the tournament, Vijay's IPL average resides at 25.73 at a 124.93 strike rate in 77 matches.
Fantasy AnalysisIn the second innings, Vijay was quickly without fellow opener Virender Sehwag, who left with a golden duck in tow. Thereafter, Vijay couldn't muster much more than a run per ball, before he was run out with only a 115.62 strike rate and Kings XI sitting at 65/4 through 8.4. In his seventh IPL season, the opening batsman has been fairly consistent in the crease, averaging 25.61 with two 100s and eight half centuries across 76 innings.