India news April 18, 2017

I was playing with a fractured wrist - M Vijay

ESPNcricinfo staff

M Vijay was India's third highest run-scorer in their 2016-17 home season © BCCI

Opening batsman M Vijay played through a part of India's long home season with a "fractured wrist," which limited his range of shots and the power with which he could play them. As a result of the injury, Vijay was ruled out of the ongoing IPL and travelled to the UK for surgery; he returned to Chennai on April 16.

"I don't want to get too much into the status of the injury but I was playing with a fractured wrist," Vijay told the New Indian Express. "It was a difficult situation to be in, but the team always comes first ... I was not able to bat freely because, as the injury aggravated, I couldn't play certain shots and when I went out to bat, I had to grind it out. Especially against pacers, it was difficult at times to even defend off the front foot because it was my bottom hand that was injured."

Vijay missed only one Test - the second against Australia - out of 13 in India's 2016-17 home season, which began with the series against New Zealand in September last year. He was India's third highest run-scorer behind Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, making 771 runs at an average of 36.71.

After beginning the season with two half-centuries in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand, then making two hundreds against England and a century in the one-off Test against Bangladesh, Vijay's form tapered during the final series - against Australia. He scored a half-century in Ranchi but did not pass 11 in four other innings.

Vijay said his injury affected his strength while batting. "I was told not to use any power while batting, so that was something I had to keep in mind while facing spinners," he said. "As a batsman, when you can't play certain shots, it affects your momentum and it was frustrating, but I saw it as a challenge because nothing comes easy and I learned a lot."

"My body language might not tell you a real story all the time. I was in pain and it is not in my personality to show what I'm going through and gain sympathy. At the end of the day, I'm the one going through that and need to handle it on my own."

Vijay said he was a while away from playing cricket again, but India do not have any Tests in the near future. "I have already started my rehabilitation and hopefully, in a month or two, I should be able to pick up the bat again."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mosesjact on April 25, 2017, 15:50 GMT

    Hiding an injury and playing for a team is very selfish. I also blame the management for letting him play with a fracture. I am sure that they had x-rays and MRIs done and they knew the exact nature of the injury. It is also possible that the doctors were not giving the right advise.

    In the early days of cricket it was customary to send an injured player to compete, and everybody used to admire his bravery. There are stories of C.K.Nayudu whenever he was captain did not allow injured players to leave the field and forced them to play. Once Vijay Hazare was hit in the head and had a cut in the skin. A doctor was called to suture the wound but the captain refused to let him leave the field. Ricky Ponting played a test match with a finger fracture.

    Nobody is indispensable in cricket and player's health is more important than the game. The ICC must make rules to discipline players for playing with an injury like a fracture.

  • Sathya on April 21, 2017, 8:31 GMT

    In every team the physio evaluates what is the extent of fitness / injury and based on that is when the team management decides who plays or does not. MV would have gone with the team managements decision based on the best interest of the team at that point of time. It is not wise to comment on his commitment given the pain and agony one has to go through. He could always have excused himself and played in IPL for money.

  • Subramani on April 20, 2017, 16:55 GMT

    SAMROY Sidhu batted for 11 hours against Ambrose Walsh and Franklyn Rose.Pl check up your facts. That innings was played when you had not seen or heard too much of cricket.

  • Sudhakar on April 20, 2017, 14:23 GMT

    @CRICKETFANINDUS: Share the same views as you on Vijay :-) He has been outstanding overseas - since that tour of SA in 2012. The areas that he misses on are:

    1) does not convert his 80s and 90s to a big one 2) tapers away towards the end of the tour

    He actually looks at his best when he tours and when there is pace and bounce. I cannot think of anyone else in the world playing Dale Steyn better than Vijay. Nevertheless, I fear that the "law of averages" will catch up with Vijay in his away tours soon. And Vijay will not be getting any younger. So, it's time we groom an opener on a very high priority.

  • SHREYA12 on April 20, 2017, 13:53 GMT

    TANVI, IMO Vijay is the second best batsman in test cricket for India due to his overseas performances. He can play very well in India too. He has played the most number of balls on tours. He has been the most consistent batsman before this past season. So, after Kohli, I would rate him the best. And I am not saying this because of any regional or language bias, (I am not from TN, lol).

  • SHREYA12 on April 20, 2017, 13:47 GMT

    LEGGI at 10:24 GMT

    Well said, I agree with all you said. There was simply no better alternative for selectors/management. Looking at the upcoming series, we desperately need a reserve opener, an openers do get injured, and it has happened frequently in the past decade when the team went touring. The is the nature of the role. My hope is that the selectors will pick one of the young ones and develop them (no Mukund/ Gambhir/ Dhawan this time :)). The rate of success is low. They also should be given a good number of starts before being dropped. You also need a bit of luck as well, (if you perform well initially, you will end up getting more starts). To be back in consideration Dhawan will need to perform well for a period of time in first class tournaments (the A team can get him some confidence back and some exposure, he also needs some adjustments to his game). Although we have a good batting talent pool for limited overs, middle order for test cricket, none for test openers.

  • Sudhakar on April 20, 2017, 10:42 GMT

    @SAMROY: In your elite list of openers you missed the rockstar R.J.Shastri :) I'm not a great fan of Shastri's personality but a big fan of his patience and temperament. For a man with limited strokes, Shastri has hundreds to show in Pakistan (at their very best), West Indies, England and Australia - all as openers. Often, it was his determination to succeed that got the better of his skills and that hugely contributed to his scores. Other notable omissions in that list of openers are Chetan Chauhan - who was Gavaskar's partner for a long long time, K.Srikkanth - who redefined opening batting and Anshuman Gaikwad - who would always be called for overseas trips - but who'd be shunted out in India matches. I also thought Arun Lal had all the ingredients of a perfect opener. It's a pity he did not succeed. His biggest achievement is that he helped Sourav Ganguly with his "timing" - which ultimately helped Ganguly on his comeback after being labeled as a quota kid when he debuted in '91.

  • Sudhakar on April 20, 2017, 10:24 GMT

    I really do feel very bad for Vijay having to play despite the injury, and finally getting the wrath of the fans for revealing it now. I'm sure it must not have been an easy decision to make either for him or the team management, The likes of Kumble, S.Bangar are knowledgeable enough - and if they decided to play a half-fit Vijay then there must be a reason and as fans we need to respect it. From the outside, A.Mukund did not inspire confidence - not just for the lack of runs - but the way he was repeatedly hurried to get bat onto ball. That must've effectively ruled out Mukund. The strategy may well have been to have Vijay just block one end up, forget the scoring rate and tire the Australian bowlers so that the others can thrive. Vijay did that well in Indore - aided by a slow wicket. In the final Test, Vijay played for 47 & 60 minutes in the 1st & 2nd innings respectively. So, I wouldn't condemn him or the management for playing him. Of course, what evident is that we need a backup!

  • sam on April 20, 2017, 9:40 GMT

    Sorry @SirIvor my mistake. Ambrose and Walsh were there but for some reason the only bowlers I remember from that series were Bishop and Franklin Rose. Bishop celebrating after WI won that Barbados Test (dismissing India for 88 chasing 120) and Rose in general bowling a lot of nonsense. I was 13 then. But the test pitch in which Sidhu got double hundred was very, very slow.

  • sam on April 20, 2017, 9:34 GMT

    @SirIvor I am not mentioning Manan Vohra because of his 95 in IPL. I mentioned Unmukt Chand too and he has a been a total failure in the limited opportunities he got. I mentioned them because they do not seem hurried by pace or at least as much as Mukund, Herwadkar, Panchal, Fazal, etc. They play it with relative comfort. That is the first thing an opener needs. He should never be hurried by pace. But as I said their (Chand's and Vohra's) FC records are very bad. Problems in both temperament and technique. And Sardesai, I forgot to mention him. But he was mostly a solid middle order batsman who did very well in 1971 in WI. But the matter of fact remains India never had too many good / competent opening batsman. By the way, Sidhu's 200 came against Franklin Rose and no Ambrose on a super slow WI pitch in 1997. I saw the match and was completely bored by his batting.

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