Former Chennai Super Kings batsman Anirudha Srikkanth feels that India are sorely missing the services of a peak Murali Vijay, who he believes was the team’s best opener of the past decade. K Srikkanth, meanwhile, echoed Virat Kohli’s thoughts and claimed that Indian batsmen didn’t show intent.
Murali Vijay might be a name long-forgotten, but, alongside Ajinkya Rahane, he was one of the success stories of India’s 2013/14/15 SENA cycle which saw the team compete toe-to-toe in daunting conditions. Between December 2013 and July 2015, Vijay averaged 45.5 away from home, a period in which he struck tons in Australia and England and notched up a valiant 97 in South Africa. He then endured a slide towards the twilight of his career, but in his heyday, the Tamil Nadu batsman was an opener and a half.
Reviewing the first Test against Australia in the ‘Cheeky Cheeka’ YouTube channel, Anirudha Srikkanth noted that the current Indian side sorely misses the presence of a solid figure like Vijay. Srikkanth, a former CSK and SRH batsman, labelled Vijay as the best Indian opener of the past decade.
“How badly do India miss a player like Murali Vijay at his prime playing right now. Let’s be honest, he’s been India’s best opener in the last 10 years,” Anirudha Srikkanth said in the ‘Cheeky Cheeka’ YouTube channel.
“He’s got hundreds in England, he’s got hundreds in Australia, he scored runs in South Africa - he has got runs everywhere outside. India is missing that right now. I know Mayank Agarwal has got two double hundreds, I know Rohit Sharma has come in with a strong record, but playing outside India a guy like M Vijay has surely been missed.”
Speaking in the same video, Anirudha’s dad K Srikkanth also voiced his thoughts on the Adelaide debacle and echoed skipper Virat Kohli’s sentiments. K Srikkanth claimed that the Indian batsmen were only looking to block, and not score, and emphasized the importance of not allowing bowlers to settle.
“Virat’s statement after the game was brilliant. Honestly speaking I like the way he gave a polished, correct statement. He said the intent was missing. All the batsmen were looking to block, but none were aiming to score,” the former Indian opener said.
“The intent to counter-attack was missing. Yes they bowled well, but you need to ensure to let the bowlers not get into a rhythm. Both Cummins and Hazlewood had great rhythm.”
The 61-year-old, who knows a thing or two about being an aggressive opener, further empathized with young Prithvi Shaw. The 21-year-old is currently in the midst of a rotten run, and Srikkanth hoped for the management to exclude Shaw from the second Test for his own sake, to prevent his confidence from completely getting shattered.
“If he is given the next Test and he fails, he will be totally demoralized,” Srikkanth said.