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What’s Vijay got that Rahane doesn’t?

by Gaurav Sethi

Once I’m done with the first ball of the Test, the following days’ play meander into a maze of random starts. 

The second day’s play in Hyderabad was a Saturday. I crashed somewhere between the middle of Friday and Saturday setting my phone on the scorecard.

Once up, I stirred my phone awake: India was 26/1. I hoped it wasn’t Sehwag. It was Sehwag.

Over four years’ back when Murali Vijay made his Test debut he wasn’t a beard-buff but still very adept at flattery. 30s, 40s, a double digit score with the tease of a triple, that’s how much promise there was. His workstation was the V; till nature rushed him back with a bedwetter of a shot. It was like Mozart building up to a crescendo by Milli Vanilli

I can’t say if Vijay gave up on himself but I recall a home ODI series against New Zealand where he hung around waiting for the midnight bus. Vijay appeared to be low on Bhajji-confidence.

Nearly two years’ later Murali Vijay returns to the Test side, picked to play and open instead of Ajinkya Rahane (the next big thing in warming benches after Manoj Tiwary)

Rahane and Vijay have played a similar number of first class games – the difference between their batting averages is 14. Rahane has 22 100s compared to Vijay’s 12. There’s more than four years between the two.

Vijay has now played 14 Tests to none by Rahane. Rahane has played 22 ODIs to Vijay’s 16, neither player has made a mark, averages of 25 and 18, strike rates of 73 and 62. 

Throughout this Test I was made to believe Murali Vijay had cramped down on his natural explosive style. 

His T20 International strike rate is less than a 100. So I’m guessing they’re going by his two 100s in the IPL, and this is not the Border Gavaskar series but yet another local tournament. 

I’m convinced Vijay will return to both the ODI and T20 squads. I fear for Rahane as I once did for Tiwary.

What gives certain players in Indian cricket the entitlement to stroll from one format to the other while less privileged ones are eased out from the team, and then somewhat nonchalantly off the bench?


Anonymous said...

Why the comparison with Rahane? He isn't an opener at all. Even opening in the ODIs he was found out against Finn and co. He will get his chance in the middle order.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Anon, Sehwag wasn't an opener either. The only spot going was/is that of an opener. Rahane is a top order bat, it was and still is worth a shot.

Sam said...

Let Rahane play from CSK and then he will be all over places. Opener, middle order, lower middle order. Who knows like Jadeja he can also be a spin allrounder.

He just needs to keep Srini happy. And for a start he can do is stop scoring against CSK when he turns out against them from Royals in the forthcoming IPL.

live score said...

Well I will totally agree with you that Ajinkye Rahane is a better batsman the Murli Vijay.His technique is better than Vijay and his temperamentally stronger too.Besider Murli Vijay is more like a T20 player while Rahane is successful in all formats of the gmae So I think he should be preferred over Vijay.

IPL said...

Well i beg to differ! To be honest Murali Vijay to me is anytime a better performer than Rahane... he has that killer instinct and that spark that I longed to see in Indian players since I started watching cricket. Atleast for this comparison, Murali has an upper hand. We can't keep cribbing over Srini factor all the time. CSK is by all means the best team so far in IPL. Check their record buddies if any doubts :D