One of the classy and elegant Test openers produced by India, Murali Vijay celebrates his 36th birthday on Wednesday (April 1, 2020). Hailing from Chennai, the right-handed batsman has been blessed with magical wrists courtesy which he has played many magnificent knocks. Opening the batting in Test matches, Vijay has scored runs all over the world and guided India to many victories. The batsman has also proved his mettle in the shortest format of the game and played a crucial role in guiding Chennai Super Kings to the IPL title in 2010 and 2011. Below, we'll look at some of his best knocks. Murali Vijay Keen to Enjoy the Game Rather Than Focusing on Team India Comeback.
Vijay's journey to success wasn't as smooth as his shot-making. At the age of 17, he left his house to pursue his dreams. He even worked in a snooker parlour to earn his bread. However, it all paid off and on November 2008, the opener made his Test debut against Australia. So far, the Monk has scored 3982 runs in 61 Test matches which also included 12 centuries. The batsman also showcased his blitzes in IPL and scored 2587 runs in 103 matches.
146 Against England in Nottingham
India's 2014 Tour of England was Vijay's first assignment in UK and he impressed everyone in the first Test only. Facing the brand-new red cherry against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the opener displayed great temperament and paced his knock to perfection. He respected the good deliveries along with smashing the bad ones for runs. He went on to score a brilliant ton and guided the visitors to 457 in the first innings. However, England made a comeback and the match ended in a draw.
144 Against Australia in Brisbane
Facing the Aussie pacers in their own backyard has been a great litmus test to many visiting batsmen. Well, Vijay certainly passed the exam during India's 2014 Tour of Australia. He put on a sensational performance in the second Test of the series and tackled the thunderbolts of Australian pacers with ease. He smashed the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc with ease to register a memorable ton. Unfortunately, his efforts went in vain as the home side clinched the game by four wickets.
167 Against Australia in Hyderabad
Vijay was making a comeback in the Indian Test team during the 2013 Test series against Australia and he celebrated his return with a mountain of runs. In the second Test of the series, Vijay showcased his sheer class and tormented the visiting bowlers. He joint forces with Cheteshwar Pujara and the duo added 370 runs, India's highest second-wicket partnership in Test cricket. Vijay individually scored 167 runs and guided the hosts to a mammoth total of 503 runs. Australia never looked to make a comeback in the contest and they eventually lost the match by an innings and 135 runs.
113 Against Delhi Daredevils in Chennai
Amid Vijay's stellar performances in the Test arena, let's not forget his blitzes in the Indian Premier League. One of his best knocks in the tournament came in the 2nd qualifier match of 2012 IPL between CSK and Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). Batting first in the high-voltage encounter, Vijay went all guns blazing and cleared his intentions from the first ball. He rained fours and sixes all over the Chepauk Stadium, making an absolute mockery of the Delhi bowlers. Vijay went on to score a scintillating ton and riding on his efforts, CSK posted 222 runs. In reply, the Virender Sehwag-led side never looked in the hunt and as a result, MS Dhoni and Co clinched the encounter by 86 runs.
95 Against Royal Challengers Banglore in Chennai
Another Murali Vijay special was seen during the 2011 IPL final between CSK and Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB). Opening the batting for the Men in Yellow, Vijay went after the bowlers from the first ball and since then, it was a one-man show. The likes of Zaheer Khan and Daniel Vettori weren't able to restrict the opener's mayhem. He missed out on a remarkable ton but guided his side to a massive total of 205 runs. In reply, RCB failed to make a fightback and CSK won the clash by 58 runs and lifted their second consecutive title.
The veteran has been out of the Indian side since the last one year. However, he continues to showcase his brilliance in domestic games. His next assignment was scheduled to get underway with IPL 2020 where he would play for CSK. However, the gala T20 tournament has been postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and according to several reports, IPL 2020 is set to get called off.