Who is Vishnu Vinod, the latest addition in Mumbai Indians’ power-packed middle order?
Vishnu Vinod, playing just his fourth IPL game, and the first this season, garnered plenty of attention with his 20-ball 30 during Mumbai Indians’ IPL 2023 fixture against Gujarat Titans – here is all you need to know about the 29-year-old.
Decent domestic record
Vinod has played the entirety of his domestic cricket for his state Kerala. He made his T20 debut for them back in April 2014 against Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The right-handed batter was Kerala’s second-highest run-scorer in a low-scoring encounter that they eventually won by 20 runs.
At the time of writing, Vinod has 1,221 runs in T20 cricket, at an average of 33 and a strike rate just under 140. He can also keep wicket and has, over the years, produced a few jaw-dropping knocks.
One of those came in the quarter-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021-22. He managed an unbeaten 26-ball 65 but was unable to haul Kerala past the finish line against Tamil Nadu.
In that season, Vinod also scored an unbeaten 100 against Maharashtra, forging a record seventh-wicket partnership with Sijomon Joseph and helping Kerala chase down 292. Two batters scored a hundred that game – Vinod and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Despite a decent T20 record, Vinod has found chances hard to come by in the IPL. The match against GT was only his fourth in the league and was only the fourth time he had batted in the competition, with each of his earlier knocks coming for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.
During that edition, he was signed up by RCB as a replacement for the injured KL Rahul. When Rahul got injured, Vinod was playing a T20 tournament in Goa and had a two-day trial with RCB before the franchise ultimately brought him on board. Unfortunately for him, he could only muster three single-digit scores, managing a combined total of 19 runs at a strike rate of 73.07.
In 2021, Delhi Capitals acquired him at the auction but he did not feature at all for them. A year later, he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad, only to warm the bench for the entire season.
IPL 2023: Vishnu Vinod grabs his chance with both hands
Even in IPL 2023, Vinod might not have played a game had Tilak Varma been fit. With the youngster nursing an injury, Vinod – bought at his base price of INR 20 lakh – was thrown into the deep end against GT and he passed that test with flying colours. In at five, he put on a crucial 65-run stand with centurion Suryakumar Yadav, pulling Alzarri Joseph and crunching Mohammed Shami over covers for sixes.
He did not have things easy, though. In 2021, he revealed in an interview that he had to travel 60 kilometres just to get to practice and that his family had to sell off their house due to financial difficulties. But he kept at it, managing decent returns in the domestic circuit and waiting for his big break.
When that opportunity came against Gujarat Titans, he did not disappoint. One hopes the appearances only continue.
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