Murali Vijay was one of the outstanding openers for India. He slammed 400 runs in 2014 to stand as the fifth Indian to score 400 runs against England on their own soil. But his average of 16.53 outside Asia is an important drawback for his selection in the test team again.
He was replaced by Shikhar Dhawan in the third test against England and Dhawan made a decent stand along with KL Rahul. Now, his comeback into the test team became a big question. His longest career and experience makes him an important batsman in the opening order but now the selection will be done on the grounds of his current performance but not on his past records. His average fell to below 20 outside Asia after 2015.
He was dropped from the test squad for two tests against England in Southampton and Oval. This is the first time that this Tamil guy, who played 59 test matches for India, was out of the test team. According to records, he slammed the highest number of centuries after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag who scored 33 and 22 centuries in the tests respectively with 12 centuries and 15 fifties as an opener. Navjot Singh Sidhu scored 8 centuries as an opener.
He slammed 3831 runs as an opener at an average above 40. This 34-year-old player was out of the team for the first time according to the action plan of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli as the coach and the captain. They both decided to pick the players based on current form. He has been one of the worst batsmen throughout the series and his highest score was 20 at an average of 6.52 from four innings. Dinesh Karthik did the poorest performance with 5.25 runs at the highest score of 21 runs from the two tests.
Murali Vijay was out of form and lost his wicket to Sam Curran and Stuart Broad by lbw. He was out for a duck in two innings. Murali Vijay was dismissed by James Anderson in two innings. His poor footwork is one of the factors that let him down and he lost his wicket twice failing to hit a straight drive.
Against New Zealand, Australia, and England, he scored 1000 runs from 12 test matches at an average above 40 in 2013-14. Wrist and back problems might be the reasons for his downfall. He slammed the nineties at Durban, Brisbane, and Adelaide. Some may feel that he is failing to stand tough in English conditions due to growing age and fitness issues. Another talking point is that he is often losing wickets to pacers like James Anderson and Stuart Broad. VVS Lakshman felt that his poor footwork and wrist work are the reasons behind his failures as an opener overseas.
He has the rare record of scoring six centuries at home from three series at home. 126 and 136 against England, 108 against Bangladesh, 128 and 155 against Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan respectively. But his poor records overseas is a point of worry. Even at home against Australia, he scored 10,2,82, and 11 against Australia failing to face bouncy attacks. In the current series against England, he scored 0,20,6, and 0.
India is going to face West Indies in a home test series in October and in December they need to play Australia on their home soil in a four test series. Vijay has a decent record of 53 and 99 in Adelaide, 144 and 127 in Brisbane, 68 and 11 in Melbourne, and 0 and 80 in Sydney in 2014. Virat Kohli had a poor record of 134 runs from 6 innings and this time he stood as the best batsman for the team with 149,51, 23,17,97, and 103 to slam 440 runs from three tests. Except for Gautam Gambhir, no player was recalled to the test team after he crossed the age of 34 years. So, it seems that it is the end of the road for this struggling opener.