- Vijay Shankar produced a Man of the Match performance in only his second international outing for India
- The Tamil Nadu all-rounder doesn’t rue multiple dropped chances of his bowling
- The 27-year-old wants to focus on his game and doesn’t like comparisons with Hardik Pandya
Vijay Shankar, the latest entry in the list of fast bowling all-rounders on trial with the Indian team, recently made his debut in the Nidahas Trophy opener against Sri Lanka and gave a good account of himself in the two overs he bowled against the islanders. The Tamil Nadu-captain was in his elements in India’s next outing of the tri-series against Bangladesh and emerged as the best bowler on show on the day.
Vijay pulled off a Man-of-the-Match award-winning show, finishing with figures of 2 for 32 – with wickets of key Bangladeshi – Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Mahmudullah. The 27-year-old might have ended up with more wickets to his name had India not been particularly sloppy on the field.
Speaking at the post-match press conference after India’s six-wicket triumph, Vijay aired his views on his first man-of-match performance for his country, comparisons with Hardik Pandya and the effect of dropped catches on his psyche.
On winning his first man-of-the-match award for India
Vijay was visibly overjoyed on his first note-worthy performance for the country and said: “Feels really great. I’ve been working really hard and this is something which is a reward for the intensity with which I’ve worked. It all paid off for me and I feel that this is just the start for me. As a professional cricketer, I need to constantly keep learning and improving. Looking forward to do well in the coming games.”
On multiple catches being dropped of his bowling
“That [dropped catches] did not affect me much. I was not thinking too much about those dropped chances. Dropping catches, I think is a part of the game. I would have loved to get my first wicket at that time but still, as cricketers, we know it is not easy to field under lights and with the white ball. I definitely did not give much importance to that dropped catch. I was just going back to bowl the next ball well,” he said.
On India giving away far too many extras
During the India innings, the bowlers conceded 15 extras which included 11 wides. Vijay himself was guilty of bowling as many as three wides and two no-balls, but the all-rounder was not too perturbed.
“Most of the extras were marginal. When we tried bowling the wide yorker, it was a bit away from the line. I think as bowlers, we can take that one extra yard in trying it out,” he added.
On comparisons with Hardik Pandya
“What is important for me is what I do everyday. The pressure and… comparing me with Hardik Pandya, I think, most cricketers don’t like comparing and it is very important to show what we have, rather than putting ourselves under pressure,” Vijay signed off.
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