by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 27th April 2009
In November 2008 M Vijay, in association with Abhinav Mukund, added 462 for the first wicket in a Ranji game for Tamil Nadu. They might have fallen two short of the record by two runs, but Vijay was told he would have to leave the game midway and join the Indian team the next day for a Test against Australia at Nagpur. Vijay didn't look out of place at all, scoring 33 and 41, and running out Matthew Hayden. He was later selected as India's third opener for the Tests in New Zealand.
A tall, solid opening batsman, Vijay was an instant success in his debut Ranji season with Tamil Nadu, finishing as the third-highest run-getter with 628 runs in seven games at a 50-plus average in 2000-07. It was followed by another good season - 582 runs at 58.2. He was picked for the India A squad to face New Zealand A in two Tests at the start of the 2008-09 season, and scored 200 runs in four innings. Included in the India Red team for the Challenger Trophy, he finished as the tournament's second-highest run-getter, which finally led to his Test selection. This was rapid progress for someone who had picked proper cricket relatively late, at 17.