Cricket: Vijay set for Essex home debut
PUBLISHED: 18:55 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:55 17 September 2018
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Murali Vijay is set to make his home debut for Essex when they meet Worcestershire in the Specsavers County Championship starting on Tuesday at The Cloudfm County Ground.
The India Test opener, who was drafted in as the overseas replacement for Peter Siddle, marked his first appearance for the side by playing an integral part in the eight-wicket victory at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire.
Vijay scored a half-century in his first visit to the crease and followed that up with a century that underpinned the successful run-chase.
In doing so, Vijay became the first player since Hashim Amla in 2009 to score a hundred on their debut for Essex and he admitted that he was delighted to have made an immediate impact.
He said: “It was an unbelievable experience for me personally to be able to come into a county like this and do well for them. The boys are a great bunch and they made me welcome from the first moment I joined up with them.
“I had everything to gain from the match because the wicket became flatter as the game went on and so for me, it was a good match to be a part of.
“Now I’m looking forward to playing at Chelmsford. I played there earlier in the season when India played Essex in a practice match and now I’m looking forward to the opportunity of going back there.”
Skipper Ryan ten Doeschate added: “He’s already turned out to be a great signing. The way he went about his batting in both innings at Trent Bridge showed he is world-class.
“He’d gone seven weeks without playing and to go out and perform like he did was exceptional. With the example he set, he is an inspiration to everyone. He’s easy on the eye and showed the quality he possesses.”
Although Worcestershire arrive at The Cloudfm County Ground as newly-crowned Vitality Blast Champions, their form in the red-ball game has been concerning.
They have picked up just two Championship wins this summer and start the match at the foot of the Division One table.
Essex head coach Anthony McGrath has named a 13-man squad for the final home match of the season.
Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate; Ravi Bopara; Nick Browne; Matt Coles; Sam Cook; Simon Harmer; Dan Lawrence; Michael Pepper; Jamie Porter; Matt Quinn; Murali Vijay; Tom Westley; Adam Wheater.