Ravi Shastri: Vijay will be around for some more time

The former India all-rounder highlighted Vijay’s technical attributes. “He’s a fine ‘leaver’ of the ball, handles the short ball well. For an opener, he is a terrific player of spin. He’s just a solid player who makes runs in all conditions.”

“Vijay handles pressure well, can change the tempo. And he’s a team-man,” Ravi Shastri said about the Indian opener.   -  BHAGYA PRAKASH K

“He would be disappointed with that,” muttered Ravi Shastri after opener Murali Vijay, suffering a momentary lapse of reason, gifted his wicket at the stroke of lunch.

“You know, I told him when I saw him first that he is a 20-Test-hundred man. Vijay’s that good.”

This is a momentous Test for the 32-year-old Vijay – the 50th of his career – and a hundred, there for the taking, would have capped the occasion.

“But he will play a lot more Tests, get a lot more runs,” said Shastri during a chat with Sportstar.

Determined opener

Shastri, a courageous and determined opener in his days, also served as the Director of the Indian cricket team till June, 2016. He comprehends Vijay well.

“We’ve had long conversations about batting in different conditions. The talks were engaging. Vijay is very focused,” said Shastri.

The former India all-rounder highlighted Vijay’s technical attributes. “He’s a fine ‘leaver’ of the ball, handles the short ball well. For an opener, he is a terrific player of spin. He’s just a solid player who makes runs in all conditions.”

Indeed, when Shastri was at the helm as team Director, Vijay made 482 runs at an average of 60.25 in four Tests down under in the 2014-15 series. This included a high-quality first day 144 against Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood at Brisbane.

And he excelled in demanding conditions on away soil. Innings such as his 97 in Durban and 146 at Nottingham glitter in Vijay’s journey so far.

Team-man

Shastri said, “Vijay handles pressure well, can change the tempo. And he’s a team-man.”

After his innings here in the third Test, Vijay has 3389 runs in 85 innings at 40.34 with nine hundreds.

Shastri who opened with another Chennai cricketer, the swashbuckling entertainer Krishnamachari Srikkanth during his time, said, “Vijay and Srikkanth are as different as chalk and cheese. If Vijay is from South Chennai, Srikkanth is from North Chennai!.”

Shastri concluded, “Vijay is mentally strong, will be around for some more time.”