DINDIGUL: It’s almost a year since Murali Vijay last played a Test for India. After being dropped, he featured in three matches for Somerset in the English County Championship in August.
However, since the second Test against Australia last December, the opener has not been considered even for the India A side or Duleep Trophy. The 35-year-old, playing for Tamil Nadu against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, expressed his dissatisfaction over the way players who have been dropped are treated.
“It (being ignored for India A) has been happening for a while. And that is the point. It should not be a case where you are left out in the wilderness. I feel they should give a fair opportunity to players who have been dropped to make a comeback at a decent level. It is not easy for openers to perform in international cricket. Openers waiting in the wings should be taken care of too,” said Vijay on Tuesday.
“It is a hard pill to swallow when you know you can perform at the highest level but are playing a level down. It is not going to be easy for anybody. My point is there should be a structure. It shouldn’t be a pick and chop job.”
With Sourav Ganguly at BCCI’s helm, Vijay thinks this situation will improve. As a player, Ganguly went through the ups and downs of international cricket. This experience, feels Vijay, should held him understand what players go through.
“I’m looking forward to his stint. He is a players’ man. He is a strong personality and hopefully, he will bring a structure to the process for cricketers to perform well. I am a great fan of domestic cricket. But what after this? Can I just keep dreaming that I will make a comeback or is there a structure where I know I can be back if I score a certain amount of runs?”
Given that India have performing options as Test openers, it won’t be easy for Vijay to make a comeback even if he hits a purple patch in Ranji Trophy or in the county circuit. But he’s not fretting, and is open to playing limited-over formats as well.
“I’m ready to play in the middle-order in one-dayers. Why has that not been considered? Selectors have their own set of things. Is there a rule? People must ask them how they are going to structure this. I had told the selectors, when Sandeep Patil was there, that I am ready to play anywhere.”
Match evenly poised
The Elite Group B match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was evenly poised after Day 2. K Gowtham starred for Karnataka. From 259/6, they added 77 more courtesy Gowtham’s 51 off 39. R Ashwin finished with 4/79. Gowtham accounted for Abhinav Mukund (47), Murali Vijay (32) and Vijay Shankar as Tamil Nadu reached 165/4, when play was called off an hour early due to bad light.
Brief scores: Karnataka 336 (Gowtham 51, Ashwin 4/79) vs TN 165/4 (Abhinav 47, Gowtham 3/61).