Vijay hopes to make 'second innings' count

M Vijay plays off the front foot Associated Press

India opener M Vijay was looking forward to ending a five-month period without any top-level cricket and though his first match back - in the Tamil Nadu Premier League - ended up a washout, he said the T20 tournament was an ideal way to regain match-fitness.

"This is an excellent opportunity to start my second innings," Vijay told reporters on Thursday after Lyca Kovai Kings and Madurai Super Giant had to share points. "It is an absolute pleasure to be back here. I've been waiting for this, and hopefully I can start it from here and build it there on.

"I don't feel a 100 percent, to be honest. But mentally, yes, I'm up there. And, format doesn't matter to me. It's just been injuries, which are not under my control. I just want to get myself fit and play cricket."

A wrist injury in March, during the Border-Gavaskar series, had forced Vijay out of the IPL. He underwent surgery in the UK and was expected to return to international cricket during the Tests against Sri Lanka, but recurrence of pain in his wrist forced him out of the squad again.

Vijay also experienced problems with his left shoulder during the final Test against England in December. After five months out of international cricket, he was conscious of the need to manage himself better, especially because he intends to be more than a Test specialist. "As you've seen, my career has become one-dimensional at the moment. So, I obviously want to enhance it. Batting is never a problem for me. It's just about mindset and injuries, which I want to manage properly now on. Any cricket is fantastic for me, because I enjoy playing."