India vs Australia: Murali Vijay set for dramatic return to Test lineup after Prithvi Shaw injury
Murali Vijay has not played a Test since he was dropped in England. @AFP

The 59-Test veteran Murali Vijay has been presented with an opportunity to step back into the Indian team for the first Test against Australia next week, with teenaged opener Prithvi Shaw  ruled out of the Adelaide opener on account of a nasty ankle injury on Friday.

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Shaw, 19, injured himself while attempting a catch at the deep midwicket boundary at the Sydney Cricket Ground during day three of India’s tour game against a Cricket Australia XI and was carried off the field while visibly in pain. The Indian team management sent him to a local hospital for scans, the results of which confirmed a lateral ligament injury that has left Shaw’s ankle heavily bandaged and him walking on crutches.

VIDEO: Opening spots still up for grabs, says Sanjay Bangar

The BCCI stated that Shaw would be put on a rehabilitation process as he sits out the Adelaide Test, and with no replacement named it appears that Vijay will slot back as opener in six days. The 34-year-old is part of the 14 named for this tour game and will now open alongside KL Rahul when India bat a second time at the SCG.

In August, during the tour of England, Vijay had been dropped from the Test squad for the first time in his career after tallying 25 runs in four innings with a best of 20. He bagged a pair at Lord’s, which lowered his batting average in Tests outside of Asia since the beginning of 2015 to 16.53.

ALSO READ: Didn’t play county cricket to get back into Indian team – Murali Vijay

Scores of 56, 100, 85, 80 and 2 in three four-day matches for Essex in the aftermath of his axing did not earn Vijay a recall for the West Indies series at home, but with Shikhar Dhawan also discarded the selectors chose to recall  the Tamil Nadu veteran for the tour of Australia.

Murali Vijay Pair Lord's
Murali Vijay bagged a pair in his last Test at Lord’s. @Getty

Vijay was one of the Test specialists that played a four-day game for India A in New Zealand this month, where he made 28 and 60. He averages 60.25 in Australia, having scored 482 runs in eight innings there in 2014-15 with scores of 53 and 99 at Adelaide Oval, 144 at the Gabba, 68 at the MCG and 80 at the SCG.

Shaw, who turned 19 this month, appeared set to open the innings for India at Adelaide Oval on December 6 after scoring 66 from 69 balls on day one. Shaw made his Test debut against West Indies last month and walked away with the Man-of-the-series award with scores of 134, 70 and 33* across two Tests, and recently scored 62 and 50 in India A’s drawn four-day match with New Zealand A before hoping over to Sydney to link up with the senior team.

He and Rahul appear to the opening pair for the first Test, unless the team management opts to play Parthiv Patel as an opener as they did two years ago when he was recalled. Rahul averages 24.70 in Tests this year, crossing 50 on just two occasions out of 18 innings. If you set aside the 149 that Rahul made in the dead rubber Oval Test in August, his Test batting average for the year sits at 15.6.

India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar on Thursday identified Rahul’s inconsistencies as a concern while stating that opening slots were up for grabs this tour, after Rahul made 3 on day two of the tour game.