Chennai v Rajasthan, IPL 2010, Chennai April 3, 2010

Vijay parades his Twenty20 skills

After a sleepy start to the tournament M Vijay has taken the IPL by storm with successive Man-of-the-Match awards
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Scores of 34, 12 and 19 aren't what you would normally associate with Matthew Hayden. Chennai Super Kings' trump-card at the top will be disappointed with those returns but somewhere at the back of his mind, you suspect that he is a relieved man.

That's because the over-reliance on him to fire has diminished somewhat thanks to the emergence of M Vijay, who after a sleepy start to the tournament has taken the IPL by storm with successive Man-of-the-Match awards. Vijay's 56-ball 127, laced with 11 sixes and eight fours, was this season's most destructive innings in a winning cause and helped Chennai break their own record of the highest IPL total.

Vijay's sudden upswing began the last time Chennai played Rajasthan, when he made a breezy 42 off 28 balls. He went one step further in the next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, smashing 78 off 39 balls to set up a successful chase. His appetite for big scores was evident today in Chennai where he cleared the ropes with such regularity that one could have been fooled into thinking this was a computer game in progress with the cheat code on.

A pattern in all three knocks was his penchant for the on side; the area from midwicket to long-on is his favoured arc. On a belter of a wicket, Rajasthan did themselves no favours by continuously feeding him length balls on middle and leg and he cashed in.

After dismissing two deliveries from Sumit Narwal to midwicket early in the innings, captain Shane Warne immediately stationed two fielders at the boundary on the leg side to check Vijay's scoring. It didn't bother him and he continued to challenge the fielders, using his feet against the spinners Yusuf Pathan and Warne. His footwork was the highlight of his knock against Bangalore and today he gave Warne the treatment with a clean hit over the sightscreen to bring up his half-century.

He carried on after that milestone, without sparing a single bowler. Shaun Tait ought to have tested him out with some quick, short stuff aimed at the ribcage, but such deliveries were few and far between. When Tait did dig one in short, Vijay slapped him over third man. Two balls later, another short delivery sat up nicely for him to dismiss it over the roof at deep midwicket. Vijay's favourite whipping boy of the evening, Narwal, was slammed for three more sixes in the region between cow corner and midwicket. The third hit - his ninth six - broke Yusuf's tournament record for the most sixes in an innings.

Perhaps Rajasthan didn't see footage of his previous knocks to work out where not to bowl. The power and bat speed behind those shots ensured the ball covered a significant distance over the ropes. Besides the bullying leg-side hits, there were a few deft late cut boundaries as well.

The delirious crowd got its money's worth when a powerful straight drive beat mid-off and brought up his century, off just 46 balls. Vijay bent down on one knee, punched the air and gestured to the yellow shirts seated at the dug out. If there were any doubters questioning his place in the XI, he had his answer. It helped that he had an attacking ally in Albie Morkel who made a scorching 60 in a stand of 152. Vijay finished just one short of Yusuf's record for the most sixes of IPL 3, a curious stat given Vijay's reputation of being a Test player.

Vijay's knock wasn't just about giving the bowlers the charge. He used the crease effectively to deliveries pitched up too, such as when he got under a yorker length ball off Shane Watson to scoop it just over the deep extra cover rope. Not all deliveries dispatched by Vijay were terrible - he was in the zone for the almost the entire innings.

Vijay walked back to a standing ovation in front of his home fans, reinforcing his worth to the national selectors. With a handful of Tests under his belt, he still remains a fringe player as far as India is concerned. An IPL century is another feather to his cap. Quite a rapid rise for someone who took to cricket only at the age of 17, the same age at which the man he replaced in the line-up, Parthiv Patel, started playing Tests for India.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 5, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Absolutely stunning knock indeed. Even I didnt expect him to be in the T20 World Cup. His omission may be termed as unfortunate. Lets now hope that he be kept in waitlist for the same and be selected for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

  • on April 5, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Super innings by CSK Superman Vijay!! His leg side shots remind me the Class-act of Ricky Ponting...India should play him in one-dayers and T20s considering his pure talent...What a player!!

  • durai86 on April 4, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Awsome knock!!! Many people ( rest of TN) criticized him from the very day he started playing for india and reported bias decision by srikanth...This innings is a fitting reply to them.He had the initial jerk in the international arena now he became a true international cricketer by not just proving one game but he climbed to the third spot of highest run getters in IPl.Soon he wil find his place in ODI.

  • on April 4, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Murali Vijay Seems to be a better player than the overrated Rohit Sharma. He should be with the Indian Team in all formats of the game. Credit must go to the National Selectors for unearthing a fantastic talent out of nowhere by giving him an opportunity ahead of players like Kohli, Pujara etc., who have been making news for a longer period of time compared to Murali Vijay...

  • manasvi_lingam on April 4, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Not appropriate to compare Ojha with Vijay. Vijay also faced bowlers with international experience: Tait, Watson, Warne! and even Yusuf Pathan has bowled at the international level. Ojha was dropped a lot of his shots were slogs that didn't connect properly enough. He can become a backup keeper for Dhoni in T20s, but he cannot succeed in ODIs and definitely not in Tests. And even as the backup, he will face severe competition from the versatile Dinesh karthik.

  • kdcricket on April 4, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Future looks bright for Indian cricket, though IPL is not right platform to decide that.I can see Vijay, Rayadu, Pujara, Kohli, Naman Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey etc playing vital roles. These players have not slogged their way through the IPL and thus are not one match wonders. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

  • Alexk400 on April 4, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    For me Murali Vijay is a Mr. Fluke. He is a good player not good for indian team. He is ideal guy to replace yuvi in Test team for sure.

    I still do not believe this guy is good in pressure situation. He is defintely better than overhyped young brat Kohli.

    I hope he keep scoring big and prove me wrong that he is no mr.fluke.!.

    We need aggressive players to win games. Enough selfhish run accumulators who play for stats.

  • ssenthil on April 4, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @ doublestrike, don't make comments based on your recent viewings, do you know M.Vijay started playing cricket only after he is aged 17!!!!! Surprise??? I would say he will keep on improve only, he may struggled in Aus and SA but he picked the Cricket bat very very lately and this is amazing to see at the age of 26. I strongly believe he will go on to play many more matches for India. You can't call RCB bowling unit composing of all International Bowlers since R.Vinaykumar also now selected for WT20. Common, M.Vijay's innings a chance less Innings with clean hitting along with only text book shots unlike Ojha dropped twice to reach this score. I am not saying he is bad let him get a win or two for RR on his own then Cricinfo will do the same thing. He also in the probables list so selectors having an eye on him also no bias.

  • santhoshkudva on April 4, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    kallis, tendulkar, and now vijay. no prizes for guessing what is common to the three. it is evident as to what it takes to succeed in any form of cricket.

  • qureshijaved23 on April 4, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Before posting your comments about RR, dont forget that this is the same team that did beat Chennai super kings in the final and lifted the IPL trophy. Chennai with big guns almost came close to losing the game. RR lost just by 24 runs. Yes RR with not the likes of hussey, hayden, raina, dhoni, morkel, murlitharan and yet they were challenging. RR all the way.

  • on April 5, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Absolutely stunning knock indeed. Even I didnt expect him to be in the T20 World Cup. His omission may be termed as unfortunate. Lets now hope that he be kept in waitlist for the same and be selected for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

  • on April 5, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Super innings by CSK Superman Vijay!! His leg side shots remind me the Class-act of Ricky Ponting...India should play him in one-dayers and T20s considering his pure talent...What a player!!

  • durai86 on April 4, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Awsome knock!!! Many people ( rest of TN) criticized him from the very day he started playing for india and reported bias decision by srikanth...This innings is a fitting reply to them.He had the initial jerk in the international arena now he became a true international cricketer by not just proving one game but he climbed to the third spot of highest run getters in IPl.Soon he wil find his place in ODI.

  • on April 4, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Murali Vijay Seems to be a better player than the overrated Rohit Sharma. He should be with the Indian Team in all formats of the game. Credit must go to the National Selectors for unearthing a fantastic talent out of nowhere by giving him an opportunity ahead of players like Kohli, Pujara etc., who have been making news for a longer period of time compared to Murali Vijay...

  • manasvi_lingam on April 4, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Not appropriate to compare Ojha with Vijay. Vijay also faced bowlers with international experience: Tait, Watson, Warne! and even Yusuf Pathan has bowled at the international level. Ojha was dropped a lot of his shots were slogs that didn't connect properly enough. He can become a backup keeper for Dhoni in T20s, but he cannot succeed in ODIs and definitely not in Tests. And even as the backup, he will face severe competition from the versatile Dinesh karthik.

  • kdcricket on April 4, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Future looks bright for Indian cricket, though IPL is not right platform to decide that.I can see Vijay, Rayadu, Pujara, Kohli, Naman Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey etc playing vital roles. These players have not slogged their way through the IPL and thus are not one match wonders. Lets keep our fingers crossed.

  • Alexk400 on April 4, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    For me Murali Vijay is a Mr. Fluke. He is a good player not good for indian team. He is ideal guy to replace yuvi in Test team for sure.

    I still do not believe this guy is good in pressure situation. He is defintely better than overhyped young brat Kohli.

    I hope he keep scoring big and prove me wrong that he is no mr.fluke.!.

    We need aggressive players to win games. Enough selfhish run accumulators who play for stats.

  • ssenthil on April 4, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @ doublestrike, don't make comments based on your recent viewings, do you know M.Vijay started playing cricket only after he is aged 17!!!!! Surprise??? I would say he will keep on improve only, he may struggled in Aus and SA but he picked the Cricket bat very very lately and this is amazing to see at the age of 26. I strongly believe he will go on to play many more matches for India. You can't call RCB bowling unit composing of all International Bowlers since R.Vinaykumar also now selected for WT20. Common, M.Vijay's innings a chance less Innings with clean hitting along with only text book shots unlike Ojha dropped twice to reach this score. I am not saying he is bad let him get a win or two for RR on his own then Cricinfo will do the same thing. He also in the probables list so selectors having an eye on him also no bias.

  • santhoshkudva on April 4, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    kallis, tendulkar, and now vijay. no prizes for guessing what is common to the three. it is evident as to what it takes to succeed in any form of cricket.

  • qureshijaved23 on April 4, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Before posting your comments about RR, dont forget that this is the same team that did beat Chennai super kings in the final and lifted the IPL trophy. Chennai with big guns almost came close to losing the game. RR lost just by 24 runs. Yes RR with not the likes of hussey, hayden, raina, dhoni, morkel, murlitharan and yet they were challenging. RR all the way.

  • arasan000 on April 4, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    FANTASTIC VIJAY.... HIS STYLE AND WAY OF BATTING IS SUPERB.. HE IS THE STAR BATSMAN OF CHENNAI. HE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN T2OI OR ODI.. WEN DHONI RETURNS FROM INJURY, M.VIJAY WAS DROPPED AND ALSO WEN DHONI WAS NOT AVAILABLE, HE WAS DROPPED TO MIDDLE ORDER BY RAINA..ON KEEPING THESE IN MIND HE KNOCKED WONDERFULLY. NOW THE SELECTER SHOULD LOOK AFTER YOUNG DOMESTIC PLAYERS LIKE VIJAY, TIWARY(MI), PANDEY, N.OJHA.. AND ALSO MANY HIDDEN PLAYERS

  • patroclus on April 4, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    awesome innings... i was there!!! no slogging... clean hits... he played Warne, Watson and Tait... now, thats class... he should be a regular feature in test matches, Sehwag should be granted his wish of batting down the order and Vijay should open with Gambhir... He is definitely a class act. He should be tried in away tests and given more chances as well... Awesome!!

  • keralite on April 4, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    He is a talented player. He has some proper cricketing shots and a good defense as well ( seen in the tests he played). He should be picked in the indian test and odi squad. Even if he fails in one or two matches I think they should persist with him in the tests because in tests you need a player who can "BAT". Once the legends retire we need guys like him to fill the void.Just looking at the way some of india's so called future prospects bat ( Manish Pandey, Badrinath, Kohli) I think it is high time that India gave enough chance for Vijay to play alongside the greats. He should be in the squad atleast.

  • ssenthil on April 4, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Will Shane Warne will say this is the Best Innings he watched? He is also hit for sixes by M.Vijay. Somebody calling it's RR bowling unit as ordinary??? comprising of S.Tait, S.Watson and S.Warne all Aus best bowlers along with Y.Pathan??? N.Ojha can't bat properly against D.Bollinger but M.Vijay has hit sixes against all these 4 bowlers and No Cross bat ugly sweep or slog. All conventional, text book stylish hitting. He has talent and he have to be utilized properly. he is basically a Opener and while Opening for India he did played well. He is struggling to adjust down the order and he may do in future. He is the first Youngster suitable for test model and I like him he didn't compromised his style or technically correct shots for this T20 and shown the using conventional batting style itself you can score well in T20. Well Done, expecting many more from you.

  • Pilotprem on April 4, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    See Guys i Had posted a month Before MR VIJAY will go for places after following him in Domestic circuit patriciulary in CHAMPIONS TROPHY , he was top scorer ,

    HE PROVED IT AGAIN , VERY VERY HAPPY FOR YOU VIJAY , very frank you are SHEWAG - 2 , my favourite person in INDIAN Cricket & very soon DINESH KARTHICK will prosper the same way mark my words ! GO VIJAY GO DONT LOOK BACK ,

    Prove the guys who asked y & who are u in the INDIAN TEAM

  • on April 4, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    Vijay and bollinger are the trump cards for chennai!

    Good to see anirudha for the first time in IPL-3 and hope he gets more chances in the future to bat up the order. If anirudha is not as successful they wil have to try out balaji for his explosive batting up the order and ofcourse he can be a useful 5th bowler.

    I'm very unhappy with the team selection as it is still not perfect.They should have removed the irritating badrinath who has under performed consistently. chances should be given to talented and match winning hemang badani. once this is done the team would be perfect.

    Hemang can be the trump card like vijay is at the moment.

  • Trackmonitor on April 4, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    What separates Vijay from rest of our big hitters like Yusuf et all is Vijay doesnt slog and is such a delight to watch. He needed the confidence to perform at the highest and this IPL 3 will give him enough of that.

  • ArunVaidyanathan on April 4, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    M. Vijay can perhaps alternatively be called "The Delight". It's raining praises just as the sixes at the MAC, Chepauk yesterday. But, I suppose Vijay is expecting that the teams would look at reading him at least now on. Vijay, for the class act that you are, we'd like to see you travel a long distance in the game for India.

  • iammadhu on April 4, 2010, 1:56 GMT

    this guy is special.. not just cuz he slammed 127, but his skills.. he is an elegant player. hope to see lot of him in international sporting events representing india.

  • Sekhar_S on April 4, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    It isn't a curious stat at all.He has been batting like this in the domestic one-day competitions and was struggling to replicate such feats in T20 but yesterday was his day.I was there at the stadium watching the practice the day before and he was religiously practising those sixes there.

  • doublestrike on April 4, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    I watched him in IPL-2 and Vijay struggled in most matches. He struggled in Australia for India A, and he had two very poor tests against South Africa. His test record is mosest, no anywhere near the much hyped 50+ FC average. Now coming back to this IPL match.. would you not say that N Ojha faced better bowling (eg. Bollinger, Murali) and did just as well? Vijay scored 33 runs in 9 balls against Narwal. Tait and Watson both got hit equally by others. Now, Vijay should get a lot of confidence from this innings and may go on to higher and better stuff. However, I wont see any special articles for N Ojha from Cricinfo. Sadly that is editorial policy and it stinks.

  • insightfulcricketer on April 3, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    What a knock by Vijay! Being a DD fan I am a neutral but I cannot stop feeling excited by this knock for Vijay. For the cricket fan of 80s we are imagining Srikkanth was rubbing his nose ad naseum and twitching his fingers seeing those zingers from Vijay. I think this coming out of the "closet" innings of Vijay is potentially the unearthing of another gem for Indian cricket at large. Good on you Vijay ! may you thrive more just not against DD :)

  • on April 3, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    I am happy for vijay but this all but shutd door on Badrinath another classy player

  • the_blue_android on April 3, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    There have been lot of people questioning Vijay's presence in the Indian team. I am not the one to bring regionalism into sport but just pointing out how most people from north India have been saying things like Vijay is in the team only because Kris Srikanth is from the south. Hopefully this will show them what Vijay can do. There is no doubt that Rohit Sharma, Raina, Pujara, Tiwary they are all good players so is Vijay.

  • on April 3, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    The decision by the CSK thinktank to shuffle the batting line-up after their recent losses benefitted Vijay than anyone else. Like the famous saying "horses for courses" he is an opener and should have remained so right from the start of this IPL season. To play him very late was really detrimental to the team and to him. He has proved many a times (including domestic cricket) that he sights the new ball well and hits it clean, the very qualities of an opener. His footwork was outstanding today against the RR and all shots were proper cricketing shots. He is proving to be a versatile batter fit for all forms of the game.

  • royalg on April 3, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    MURALI VIJAY i salute uuuu, in the times of trouble when chennai were luking for a gud opening partner for hayden they hav found the MAN. i dnt no wat u hav done to transform urself but its definitely working and cud u tell us the secret plzzzz. full marks to vijay and bollinger keep up the gud work. CHENNAAIIII SUPPERRR KINGSSS VISELLLLL PODDAAAAAAAAA :D

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on April 3, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    The fact that he wasn't slogging made viewing such a pleasurable experience.

  • manasvi_lingam on April 3, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    A curious innings from Vijay. The Indian team appears to have him pigeonholed as a Test player, but I felt that his six hitting ability in FC matches and his positive batting would make him well suited for ODIs, though I never suspected him to be capable of such destructiveness. His technique is still suspect, as seen against Steyn and co. But he may well become a good player for India

  • sweetspot on April 3, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    If anyone missed this innings by Murali Vijay, they should get to see it on YouTube or get a copy of the tape - this was special by any yardstick. The balance and elegance made this incredible innnings an absolute modern day classic, no matter what format. This young man can dominate with no undue risk taken. He is a purist's delight and a bowler's purest nightmare. Scary.

  • MasterClass on April 3, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    WONDERFUL to see M. Vijay showcase his tremendous skills! I believe he's an awesome prospect for India. I was once sledged in a online chat for supporting Murli Vijay, and calling him the next Dravid. I would like to see their faces now! I doubt I'll hear even a peep from them. Great thing about Vijay is he plays so beautiful orthodox cricket, and yet can slam the ball in T20. What a Player!

  • nishkarshs on April 3, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    I am a Royals supporter but today Vijay was godly, to say the least. The next one-day opening pair for India Vijay-Pandey. How's that?!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • nishkarshs on April 3, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    I am a Royals supporter but today Vijay was godly, to say the least. The next one-day opening pair for India Vijay-Pandey. How's that?!

  • MasterClass on April 3, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    WONDERFUL to see M. Vijay showcase his tremendous skills! I believe he's an awesome prospect for India. I was once sledged in a online chat for supporting Murli Vijay, and calling him the next Dravid. I would like to see their faces now! I doubt I'll hear even a peep from them. Great thing about Vijay is he plays so beautiful orthodox cricket, and yet can slam the ball in T20. What a Player!

  • sweetspot on April 3, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    If anyone missed this innings by Murali Vijay, they should get to see it on YouTube or get a copy of the tape - this was special by any yardstick. The balance and elegance made this incredible innnings an absolute modern day classic, no matter what format. This young man can dominate with no undue risk taken. He is a purist's delight and a bowler's purest nightmare. Scary.

  • manasvi_lingam on April 3, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    A curious innings from Vijay. The Indian team appears to have him pigeonholed as a Test player, but I felt that his six hitting ability in FC matches and his positive batting would make him well suited for ODIs, though I never suspected him to be capable of such destructiveness. His technique is still suspect, as seen against Steyn and co. But he may well become a good player for India

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on April 3, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    The fact that he wasn't slogging made viewing such a pleasurable experience.

  • royalg on April 3, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    MURALI VIJAY i salute uuuu, in the times of trouble when chennai were luking for a gud opening partner for hayden they hav found the MAN. i dnt no wat u hav done to transform urself but its definitely working and cud u tell us the secret plzzzz. full marks to vijay and bollinger keep up the gud work. CHENNAAIIII SUPPERRR KINGSSS VISELLLLL PODDAAAAAAAAA :D

  • on April 3, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    The decision by the CSK thinktank to shuffle the batting line-up after their recent losses benefitted Vijay than anyone else. Like the famous saying "horses for courses" he is an opener and should have remained so right from the start of this IPL season. To play him very late was really detrimental to the team and to him. He has proved many a times (including domestic cricket) that he sights the new ball well and hits it clean, the very qualities of an opener. His footwork was outstanding today against the RR and all shots were proper cricketing shots. He is proving to be a versatile batter fit for all forms of the game.

  • the_blue_android on April 3, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    There have been lot of people questioning Vijay's presence in the Indian team. I am not the one to bring regionalism into sport but just pointing out how most people from north India have been saying things like Vijay is in the team only because Kris Srikanth is from the south. Hopefully this will show them what Vijay can do. There is no doubt that Rohit Sharma, Raina, Pujara, Tiwary they are all good players so is Vijay.

  • on April 3, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    I am happy for vijay but this all but shutd door on Badrinath another classy player

  • insightfulcricketer on April 3, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    What a knock by Vijay! Being a DD fan I am a neutral but I cannot stop feeling excited by this knock for Vijay. For the cricket fan of 80s we are imagining Srikkanth was rubbing his nose ad naseum and twitching his fingers seeing those zingers from Vijay. I think this coming out of the "closet" innings of Vijay is potentially the unearthing of another gem for Indian cricket at large. Good on you Vijay ! may you thrive more just not against DD :)