Ravi Shastri often says that Murali Vijay is the best Test opener India had after Sunil Gavaskar: Bharat Arun

Vijay represented India in 61 Test matches and has scored 3,982 runs at an average of 38.28.

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Bharat Arun and Murali Vijay
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Bharat Arun and Murali Vijay. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun revealed that Ravi Shastri believes Murali Vijay to be India’s best Test opener after Sunil Gavaskar. Notably, the Chennai-born cricketer made his Test debut against Australia in 2008. Since then, he has represented the national team in 61 Test matches and has scored 3,982 runs at an average of 38.28. He was one of the first names on the team sheet during his prime years, and played his last Test against Australia at Perth in 2018.

Meanwhile, Shastri’s claim is a massive compliment for Vijay, as there have been many other great openers who represented India after Gavaskar’s retirement. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir have opened for India in the meantime, and they have 49.34, 44.82 and 41.95 averages respectively, which is higher than that of Vijay. Despite so, the ex-bowling coach went with the Tamil Nadu batter, someone he had seen from a young age.

Read More: Sunil Gavaskar questions Jasprit Bumrah’s absence from Ranchi Test

“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,” Arun told Cricket.com.

Kuldeep has worked a lot on his bowling: B Arun

Recently, Bharat also shared how Shastri brought the best out of Kuldeep Yadav, who was struggling massively at one point in his career. Arun revealed that Shastri asked the left-arm spinner to reduce his belly fat and work on his fitness, which played a part in making him a better bowler.

“Ravi Shastri told Kuldeep that Boss, this puppy fat you have na has to be melted away... I can't think of a single reason with improved fitness that you won't become a world-class Test bowler,” Bharat said while speaking to the Indian Express.

“He has obviously worked a lot on his bowling — that energy through the crease is a standout feature now. It allows him to increase pace without sacrificing turn, loop, drift,” he added.

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