Former India opener Murali Vijay leads the list of Indian batsmen with the highest conversion rate from 50 to 100 in home Tests. In the Tests he played in India, Vijay had a 60% conversion rate. In-Home Tests, he has scored 50 runs 15 times, with nine of them being hundreds. This reveals that his conversion rate was better than Mohammed Azharuddin, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma.
It’s no surprise that many people, including Sanjay Manjarekkar, were taken aback when they saw the former opener’s statistics. And it’s difficult to imagine how many cricket fans remember Vijay’s name among luminaries like Tendulkar, Dravid, and Gavaskar. After the opening combination of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir ended, it was Vijay who took over as India’s opener. He didn’t have a terrific start in his Test career. However, he rose to become the first-choice opener in 2013 and remained one of the top Test openers in the world until 2018.
Ravichandran Ashwin had a lot to say about Vijay, with whom he played a lot of cricket for Tamil Nadu and later for India. After Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag, the veteran Indian spinner thinks Vijay to be the finest Indian Test opener. Ashwin also likened him to another batting legend, Cheteshwar Pujara. He believes that neither of them has recognized how they should be.
‘M Vijay, in my opinion, is India’s finest opener outside of Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag,’ Ashwin wrote for ESPNCricinfo.
“Vijay and Puji are similar in that they have not received adequate recognition. They also had some of the funniest disagreements. Both used to undertake the most difficult task in Test cricket – play out the new ball in trying circumstances, as we sometimes have to do when we travel abroad – so having a new ball is par for the course. They used to do the most difficult job in Test cricket – play out the new ball in tough circumstances, as we seem to need to do whenever we go abroad – so having a few idiosyncrasies emerge from that type of relationship is par for the course,”
“Both of them may waste an entire session break squabbling about a phone call that Puji would not have answered. Vijay would try to rally people to his cause, but Puji would stand fast and declare, ‘There was no run.’ You can gather witnesses, proof, and lawyers, but Puji will never alter his opinion. He is also not irritated by these disagreements “
– He went on to say.
Ashwin lavished accolades on Pujara, claiming that he had an excellent defence. He further stated that no one could persuade Pujara to modify his playing style. As a result, he stated, Pujara always believes in his technique. Ashwin compared him to a beast, saying,
“Just like a beast concentrates solely on its prey, Puji focuses solely on batting.”
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