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Murali Vijay reveals he was 'a great fan of Anil Kumble as an youngster'

The Indian opening batsman eager to learn a lot from the former skipper

Murali Vijay
Vijay has established himself as a solid and dependable opener in Tests

A solid presence at the top of the order for India in Test cricket, Murali Vijay has welcomed the appointment of Anil Kumble as head coach. Speaking to reporters during the team camp in Bengaluru, the 32-year old revealed that he was 'a great fan of Anil Kumble as an youngster'.

Vijay reminisced, “My first Test match was his last Test match and actually I did not spend lot of time with him. But, I have been a great fan of him as an youngster. It is a great opportunity for youngsters to talk to him about cricket and learn from him and move forward. So, it will be a great time for us.”

Actually, the Tamil Nadu batsman made his Test debut during the final match of the 2008 Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Nagpur. However, Kumble had retired from the sport in the previous contest at Delhi.

However, Vijay looked forward to the upcoming season under the stalwart’s tutelage. He enthused, “It is going to be great 12 months for us as a team that much I can guarantee you. We are going to be up for it and we just want to be best in coming 12 months.”

On the transition from Ravi Shastri’s firebrand nature to Kumble’s composed demeanor, Vijay affirmed, “We had a great time with Ravi Bhai and Anil Bhai has picked up for now. And hopefully we can have good time with him and learn lot of things from him. He has been an unbelievable cricketer for India.”

‘Lot at stake for the Indian team’

The stylish right-hander was also confident of a successful series in West Indies and labeled the Caribbean as an entertaining place for a cricketer. Hoping that his side can carry the momentum throughout the season, Vijay believed that prior experience of playing in the region would stand him in good stead.

He felt, “It is a great place to play cricket because there is more fun and there is competition inside. So, we cannot ask for more as sports persons. There is entertainment overall and we are looking forward for this series. Last time I did not do well in West Indies, but the team did well. Hopefully, I can pull it off this time.”

Vijay added, “It will be a confidence booster for us to play and perform and execute our plans. Thereafter, come back and play matches in the home series. So there is lot of stake for us. Fitness will play a major part on each and everybody. We are aware of it. We have our fitness regime and we are following and hopefully we can stay fit throughout the season.”

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