“Gary Kirsten asked me to try something new” – Vijay Shankar on his return to form in IPL 2023
By SMCS - Dec 14, 2023 9:25 am
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Gujarat Titans (GT) all-rounder Vijay Shankar has shared that a tweak in his batting lift and stance after Gary Kirsten’s advice led to his stunning Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 campaign. Shankar was bought by GT during the IPL 2022 mega-auction for ₹1.4 crore but he had a poor season with the bat as the franchise won the title in their debut season. He played only four matches, scoring 19 runs at a strike rate of 54.29 as well. However, he had a key role to play in the middle order for the franchise in the 2023 season, scoring 301 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 160.11 as well.

“I tweaked my bat lift and stance. It felt very good because I worked for it, and it happened. Gary Kirsten asked me to try something new. A week or 10 days before IPL [2023], he asked me to try different things and when I started hitting the ball really well, I started enjoying myself. I used to bat an hour and a half or even more in the nets,” Shankar said in an interaction with Sportstar.

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“Despite the season I had in the previous year, GT retained and played me in the first game in 2023. That confidence from the team is very important. Even here [Vijay Hazare Trophy], a few of us didn’t have a great first half, but the team [Tamil Nadu] still backed us and believed in our ability. That is why we were able to do well,” he further added.

Vijay Shankar

However, Shankar should step up with his all-round ability to fill the void left by Hardik Pandya’s departure to Mumbai Indians as well. However, the 2023 edition of the IPL marked the introduction of the Impact Player rule after it was used in the 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well.

“The Impact Player rule has taken the all-rounders’ game away. But I will take it as a challenge to get better. If I am the best, the ball will come to me automatically. I need to push myself to that level, where I am the best and the team needs me to bowl. Under Shubman, it is going to be very interesting. He is a terrific player and if he leads by example, it will be really good for him, the team and everyone else. I am sure we are going to have a lovely time because the management and support staff are all lovely. It is the beauty of that team,” Vijay Shankar concluded.