India vs England, Lord’s Test: Murali Vijay’s technique was exposed by James Anderson: VVS Laxman

Murali Vijay’s dismissal for 0 in the first over of the Lord’s Test  between India and England has surprised VVS Laxman, who was left to surmise the opener’s technique in testing conditions.

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After England skipper Joe Root won the toss and opted to field under grey skies on Friday – following a complete washout on day one of the second Test – it took James Anderson five deliveries to strike. Vijay, having shouldered arms to three of Anderson’s first four deliveries, was bowled by a terrific delivery that foxed him into a flick across the stumps, only for it to swing past the bat and into the stumps.

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For Laxman, the veteran of 134 Test matches, it was Vijay’s wristy shot that led to his latest failure.

“He’s got a very good temperament, he plays with a lot of patience and perfect technique but today I think the technique was exposed,” said Laxman on a show with ESPNcricinfo. “Early in his innings, Vijay always looks to play in the ‘v’ whereas today he just closed the face. Credit to Anderson … right from the first ball he was asking tough questions and used the conditions really well. The down flow of the bat was not perfect, as he would have liked it to be. I think Murali Vijay, seeing that wicket, will be really disappointed.”

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During the first Test at Edgbaston, Vijay made 20 and 6 – lbw to left-arm quick Sam Curran in the first innings and lbw to Stuart Broad when not offering a shot. Friday’s duck has lowered Vijay’s batting average in Tests outside of Asia since the beginning of 2015 to 17.91, a stark comparison to the tours of South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia in 2013 and 2014 when he made 1000 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 41.66, with two centuries and six fifties.

What disappointed Laxman about Vijay’s downfall as a Test opener overseas was that very same success in the four aforementioned countries, which had set the bar high.

“We always expect a lot from Vijay the opener for the simple reason that in the last round of overseas tours in 2013 and 2014, he was probably the most consistent batsman. And in a crucial position, that of an opener,” he said. “Today’s dismissal … that’s not something you expect from Murali Vijay.”