M Vijay, the India opener who was dropped after two Tests of the series against England, has joined Essex for the remainder of the 2018 county season.

Vijay, 34, bagged a pair at Lord’s to follow scores of 20 and 6 at Edgbaston which led to his omission for the third Test at Trent Bridge. He was then left out of India’s updated squad for the final two matches of the series.

“I was here with the India side about a month ago and saw first-hand just how good the crowd is. I can’t wait to play for Essex and hopefully win some matches,” Vijay said.

Essex have three games left in their County Championship season and are not yet entirely secure of their Division One status following a heavy defeat by Surrey. Their top three for that match was Nick Browne, Varun Chopra and Tom Westley, and it could be that one of them makes way for Vijay’s arrival.

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said. “We’re delighted that Vijay has chosen to come here. He’s a great batsman who can score runs at the top of the order.

“Vijay’s run-scoring ability means he can be the difference-maker in a game, and that skill is something we were looking to bring in towards the end of the season and something that we’re excited about.

“The campaign is coming to an end and we have some really big games over the next month, so getting someone in with the experience and international quality that Vijay possesses could make all the difference for us.”

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