According to Ravichandran Ashwin, who has shared the cricket pitch with Murali Vijay for both Tamil Nadu and India, Vijay deserves high praise and recognition for his performance. Ashwin regards him as the third-best Indian Test opener, after the legendary Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag, based on valid reasons.
Despite facing criticism, Sanjay Manjrekar expressed his surprise at seeing Murali Vijay’s name on the top of the list of Indian batters with the best conversation rate from fifty to hundred in home Tests. With a 60% conversion rate in home Tests, Vijay scored 15 fifties and converted 9 of them into centuries, a better rate than Mohammed Azharuddin, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma. It is likely that many would not have remembered Vijay’s name when considering the top Indian Test batters.
This is not about Manjrekar, but rather about Murali Vijay, both as a person and as a cricketer. Following the premature end of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir’s opening partnership in Test cricket, India was in desperate need of a reliable opener. Historically, India has not had a strong opening line-up, but Vijay stepped up and made the spot his own. Although his Test career did not begin with a bang – he did not play a Test for 13 months after his debut in 2008 – he served as a backup option. However, from 2013, he emerged as India’s first-choice opener, and until 2018, he was not only India’s best but also among the world’s finest Test openers.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who has played cricket with Vijay for both Tamil Nadu and India, highly regards the recently-retired cricketer. Ashwin considers Vijay the third-best Indian Test opener after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag. Vijay is the only Indian cricketer with more than 10 centuries while opening the batting in Test matches, after Gavaskar and Sehwag. Despite this, Ashwin believes that Vijay does not receive enough credit as a Test opener, and he compared Vijay to Cheteshwar Pujara, who is also under-recognized. Vijay and Pujara’s partnership was known for their arguments, but they both successfully played out the new ball in challenging conditions.