Vijay Shankar on MS Dhoni: The Indian all-rounder opened up on playing alongside the legendary wicket-keeper batsman during the NZ tour.
With whatever chances he got, the 28-year old cricketer did his best to the extent that he is being considered for the imminent ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh recently named him in his squad for the world event.
In his only opportunity with the bat in ODIs, Shankar came in to bat at No. 6 in the 10th over. With India reeling at 18-4, Shankar shared a 98-run stand for the fifth wicket alongside Ambati Rayudu.
In the partnership, Shankar was the first one to press accelerator scoring a praiseworthy 45 (64) with the help of four fours. Had it not been a howler in communication, Shankar was looking set for a big innings.
— Outlook Magazine (@Outlookindia) February 8, 2019
Bowl vijay Shankar.. won’t give more than 15 .. anyways all these vallal’s are giving the same #INDvNZ
— SATHYA (@sathya1405) February 10, 2019
‘Surprised to be asked to bat at No. 3’
While he didn’t get to bowl in three T20Is against New Zealand, he scored 27, 14 and 43 to further put on display his abilities with the bat. In a recent interview with PTI, Shankar disclosed that it was captain Rohit Sharma who asked him to get ready to bat at No. 3 in T20Is.
“I was surprised but at the same time was very happy to be asked to bat at number three. I was told before the series started that I would bat at one-drop. In T20s, there is not much time to settle down and the approach needs to be positive,” Shankar was quoted as saying.
Talking about playing alongside the senior players, Shankar admitted that he learnt a lot across departments from them. He said that watching Dhoni during run-chases helped him a lot.
@bhogleharsha Vijay Shankar a more established batsman who can be very good at no.6 in the test format and also can be handy with the ball ….very impressed with his technique, plays the spin well and with little bit of work on his bowling ..India can surely have another all..
— Pritam Das (@SppritamDas) February 8, 2019
Vijay Shankar, Rishab Pant, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya… There were like Superheroes today. Although India could not win this match, but getting 213 in T20s is very tough. India once look like winner but sometimes luck doesn’t favor you. #INDvNZ
— Free Thinker (@Brahmin_Thinker) February 10, 2019
‘Learnt a lot from senior players’
“I was happy to be around with the seniors. Just watching them prepare for matches and learning. It is a big thing to share the pitch with Dhoni. Moreover, I learnt a lot by watching Dhoni during run chases. I learnt a lot about how to pace an innings, especially during chases. I learnt about his mindset,” Shankar said.
Shankar had a chance to seal a mammoth run-chase for India in the third T20I at Hamilton. Despite it (chasing 213) being a daunting task, Shankar expressed his disappointment at not being able to take the team home.
“I thought I should have got more runs. Also, I felt disappointed that I could not take the team home in the third T20. I had the chance. It is a learning experience for me. I need to adapt faster and also be consistent,” Shankar concluded.