Despite a 1-2 series loss to New Zealand in the T20Is, there were certainly some positives for India. Among them was the emergence of Vijay Shankar, who has been quite impressive with the bat as he scored 43 in the third T20I in Hamilton, which India lost by four runs. Thanking the team management for showing the faith in him and also giving him the freedom, Shankar said his experience with Team India has been a good learning curve.
Talking about his chances in the Indian team, Shankar said, “The freedom that we get from this management is the best thing for us. I think T20 is a game where you cannot be rigid in thinking, you need to be really flexible. As batters, we need to be really open and know the situation and be aware of what’s happening around. Whether it be the breeze or the bowlers, we think a lot about all these things. The matches that I’ve played so far I did reasonably well. I could have done a lot better, but as I said earlier, it’s great learning for me, and I’m just looking to get better every day.”
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who has been economical with the ball in the ODIs before the T20I series, wasn’t given the ball during the shortest format games. Meanwhile, he was promoted to bat up the order at No. 3 where he came up with a couple of useful contributions.
Talking about the same, Vijay said, “If they ask me to bowl I have to be ready for that and with my batting, it was a big surprise when they asked me to bat number three in the first game. That’s a good thing for me, and I think I did reasonably well in that. For me, it is about playing the situation. If I can play the situation and win matches for my team then that will be the best thing for me.”
Shankar, who had a difficult time with the bat a few months ago during the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh, when he labored to a 19-ball 17 before Dinesh Karthik bailed the team out, feels he has learned a thing or two about tense chances. Especially, having watch MS Dhoni finish a few games.
The all-rounder further added, “Someone like him (Dhoni), everyone will look up to him. He’s a legend and he’s won so many matches for his country, and even the last couple of games we batted, for someone like me, I enjoy watching that and I try to learn a lot from watching each and every player in our team. He has done a lot for the team. I see how he chases the total, everything is great learning for me.”