MURALI Vijay has set his sights on what would be a "special" County Championship title as he prepares for his Somerset debut this week.

The Indian international, 35, will make his bow against Yorkshire on Tuesday in the first of three matches which will determine whether Somerset can lift the Championship trophy for the first time.

Vijay said: "I arrived last week so I have enjoyed settling in and spending some time with the boys.

"It is good fun to be part of this set-up. Coming to Taunton and playing for Somerset is an absolute pleasure.

"There is a lot of history and heritage here. A lot of great players have played for this club and it is an absolute privilege for me to be a part of these last three Championship games.

"The vibes in the dressing room are good, the players are pumped up and ready for these last games. I can't wait to get started."

Vijay has valuable experience in English conditions, having toured with India in 2014 - when he scored 146 at Trent Bridge - and 2018.

He also spent September of last season playing for Essex, a successful stint which yielded three fifties and a century in five innings.

"It [England] is a tricky place to play as a batsman and the weather plays a huge part in your preparation," he said.

"You have to be aware of what's happening with the weather as the ball moves a lot when the weather is like this [overcast].

"When the ball is moving it questions the batsman's technique, mindset and shot selection the most.

"These are situations you work hard for."

Vijay's spell at Essex was his first taste of County Championship cricket and, as fate would have it, it is they who are locked in a tense title race with his new employers.

Essex currently hold a two-point lead at the summit and visit Taunton in the last week of the season, a mouthwatering prospect should the title still be up for grabs.

"Essex was a great team to be part of and I will look forward to seeing the boys," Vijay said.

"I am sure there will be a bit of banter. I had a good stint with them but now I am with a new team so hopefully we will put on a good show."

The right-hander arrives in good form, albeit from T20 matches rather than First Class cricket - his last four innings for Warriors before departing for England were scores of 101, 99, 78* and 81.

If he can take that form into a Somerset shirt, he could etch his name into county folklore as part of the team which, after several near misses, lands a first Championship title.

"I wasn't aware of that [Somerset never having won it] when I was coming here," Vijay said.

"I have been around the town and the locals are very pumped up to see how we go. I am looking forward to being a part of that journey.

"Winning it would be special. I would be carrying Azhar Ali on my shoulder as he did the hard work in the early season but it is a good thing for me to come here.

"I am pumped up so let's see how it goes."

Lewis Gregory, who made a batting-only return to action in the final T20 group match against Middlesex, is part of Somerset's 13-man squad.

Somerset squad: Tom Abell, Tom Banton, George Bartlett, Dom Bess, Jack Brooks, Josh Davey, Steve Davies, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Jamie Overton, Roelof van der Merwe, Murali Vijay

Yorkshire squad: Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Harry Brook, Ben Coad, Will Fraine, Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Jack Shutt, Steven Patterson ©, Jonny Tattersall (WK)

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