"Greatest Opener For India Outside Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag": Ravichandran Ashwin On Just-Retired Star
Ravichandran Ashwin paid rich compliments to the opener who has played 61 Tests for Indian cricket team
Cheteshwar Pujara will be playing his 100th Test when Team India gets down to action in the second match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia that starts in Delhi on Friday. For the veteran India batter it's a momentous occasion. While describing Pujara's game in a column for a cricket website, veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin payed rich compliments to former India opener Murali Vijay. The veteran opener recently retired, after playing 61 Tests (3982 runs), 17 ODIs (339 runs), nine T20Is (169 runs).
Ashwin said that Vijay, according to him is the greatest Indian opener outside Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag.
"During all these years of knowing him (Pujara), I have learnt that his game is just an extension of his personality. And his personality is stubborn. You just can't win an argument with him. He never concedes a point. I enjoy seeing his stubborn side, so I try to lead him into arguments while others around say, "Ash, you know you are not going to win," Ashwin wrote in a column for Cricinfo.
"M Vijay, according to me the greatest opener for India outside of Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag, and Puji are quite similar in that they haven't been celebrated enough. They also had some of the most hilarious arguments. They used to do the most difficult job in Test cricket - play out the new ball in testing conditions, as we tend to need to do whenever we go abroad - so it is par for the course to have a few eccentricities emerge from that kind of partnership."
The 38-year-old Vijay, days before announcing retirement, had said that age is becoming a hindrance in getting opportunities in Indian cricket.
"I am almost done with BCCI (smiles) and I want to find my ways abroad. Play little bit of competitive cricket," Vijay told WV Raman on Wednesdays with WV, a weekly show on Sportstar.
"After 30 in India, it's a taboo (smiles). They see us as 80-year-olds walking on street. I don't want to get into any controversy . The media should also address it differently. I feel you are peaking in your 30s. Sitting here right now, I can bat the way I bat now. But unfortunately or fortunately, the opportunities are less, and I have to search for my opportunities outside."