M. Vijay, immediately after he was dropped from the Indian team midway through the England tour, wasted no time in getting back to the grind.

He turned up for his club in the Chennai’s first division league before heading back to England for a county stint with Essex.

Though short, it was a productive outing for the 34-year-old who scored three fifties and a century in five innings that should him give much-needed confidence.

On Tuesday, the opener was back in familiar surroundings, hard at work ahead of joining the Tamil Nadu team for the ongoing Vijay Hazare trophy.

Great memories

Speaking about his county stint, Vijay said: “It was a great experience to go back and play in England and perform well, contributing for the team’s cause. I have great memories.”

When asked about how confident he was about getting back into the side, Vijay said: “Yes, of course I am confident. We play cricket for that. I never thought I would play for India when I was young.

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“I gained confidence over a period of time and never looked back from there. There were a lot of ups and down and that’s the way it goes. I am now looking forward to the new road ahead and hopefully, I can ride it the way I want to ride it.”

For the past five years, Vijay owned the openers slot with impressive performances across the world. Even in the South Africa series earlier this year, the opener had a few starts in tough conditions but couldn’t capitalise.

The stylish right-handed batsman, however, prefers to look ahead and added he was more than ready to tough it out again in domestic cricket starting from the Vijay Hazare trophy.

After being overlooked for the two-Test series against the West Indies, Vijay will have the early part of the First Class season to fight his way back to the national side for the Australia tour later this year where he was the second highest run-getter (482 runs) four years back.

Referring to the missed opportunities in South Africa, Vijay said, “What has happened has happened. Now one needs to have the mindset to go and grind it again and enjoy cricket.

“I have a lot of things to give back to my team and hopefully, I can put TN in a good state this year and am going to focus on that aspect.”