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Virender Sehwag robbed as ‘Ravi Shastri says Murali Vijay is India’s best Test opener after Sunil Gavaskar’

Bharat Arun has revealed that Ravi Shastri often calls Murali Vijay India’s greatest Test opener after Sunil Gavaskar.

It’s no secret that Sunil Gavaskar is India’s greatest opening batter of all time. The Little Master was a pioneer in Test batting. Forget the fact that he struck 36 Test centuries or became the first batter to score 10000 runs in Test cricket, the fact that he achieved all of this while batting against some of the greatest fast bowlers of all time – Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall – that too without wearing a helmet testifies the greatness of the living legend.

Virender Sehwag or Murali Vijay? Ravi Shastri goes with the latter. (Getty Images)

But while Gavaskar stands at the top of the list, who comes at No. 2? Well, the first time that comes to mind is undoubtedly Virender Sehwag – the only Indian batter with two triple-centuries in Tests with over 8500 runs at an average of nearly 50 and 23 centuries. But hang on a minute. As per Bharat Arun’s confession, for former India head coach Ravi Shastri, the distinction belongs to Murali Vijay.

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“If you want me to name a batter whom I knew from a very young age, Murali Vijay was someone whom I saw in college. I recommended him to another First-Division team. That’s when the journey started. Ravi [Shastri] often says that Murali Vijay is the best Test opener India had after Sunil Gavaskar. And that’s a huge compliment today. So I can say that my interactions with him [Vijay] have been outstanding and he is one of my favourite players,” the former India bowling coach told

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Sehwag vs Vijay

Vijay played 61 Tests for India between 2008 and 2018 and opened the innings 100 times, scoring 3880 runs from either No. 1 or 2. This included 12 centuries and 15 fifties with a best of 167 against Australia in Hyderabad. Vijay posted four 150-plus scores during his run as an India opener, including the epic 146 against England on a greenish Nottingham pitch during the 2014 tour and followed it with another classy knock of 144 against Australia at Brisbane. India went on to lose both Tests but Vijay’s innings are still fondly recalled by the most ardent Indian cricket fans.

As for Sehwag, there’s no denying the everlasting impact he has had on Indian cricket. In fact, after the Sehwag-Gambhir opening pair, Vijay took over as he and Viru put on several memorable partnerships. In between, India also found a reliable opening pair in Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan as the duo went on to score 1500 runs together between 2013 and 2018, including two century, and five fifty partnerships with a best of 289.

However, to give preference to Vijay over Sehwag has to be a pretty bold claim by Shastri. Sehwag played a lot longer – from 2002 to 2013 – establishing himself as the most formidable opening force ever seen in the history of Indian cricket. Besides the two triple tons, Sehwag also scored 293 against Sri Lanka – one of his six double centuries in Tests. He and Rahul Dravid hold the distinction of India’s second-highest partnership in Tests – 410 against Pakistan in Lahore, missing Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy’s record of 413 by just three runs.


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