Vijay Shankar under no pressure to fill in the shoes of Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has been rested for the upcoming T20I tri-series after a hectic 58-day long tour of South Africa.

Vijay Shankar | AFP

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who has impressed one all with his stellar show in domestic cricket, was named in the 15-member India squad on Sunday (February 25) for the upcoming T20I tri-series involving Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka.

Ecstatic with the national call-up, the 27-year-old Shankar on Wednesday (February 28) said that he is not taking any extra pressure to replicate the feats of first choice India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been rested for the Twenty-20 tri-series after a hectic 58-day long tour of South Africa.

"I don't give much importance to that (laughs). Pressure is something that is going to be there all the time when you step on to the ground. You have to be calm and play the same way you play everywhere," Vijay Shankar told IANS.

"Every cricketer has something special to give. As cricketers, we look up to everyone. We can learn from everyone and it's not about comparing," he added.

Shankar did reasonably well during the recently concluded domestic T20 tournament – the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the prestigious ODI competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He often exhibited his hitting prowess while batting in the lower middle-order.

"I always see domestic (cricket) as a very important stage because whenever I do well I get that confidence of getting to the next level from there. So it is very important for me to do well in the domestic matches," Shankar said.

"I have practised with my coach and we worked on a few things. I am working on that. I don't think I need to do something really different. It is important for me to keep doing whatever I am doing," he further explained while talking about his training with coach S Balaji to improve his power hitting.

When asked about the next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup, Shankar said he is not thinking too far ahead at the moment.

“I don't think much about all those. I take this as an opportunity for me to experience how it is at that level. It is more about that and not about putting myself under pressure. I am not thinking about the World Cup or anything else. It is more important for me to learn things on the field from the seniors," Shankar asserted.

The young all-rounder concluded by stating that he has always been an avid thinker of the game and is mentally ready to take up the challenge.

"For me the mental aspect is, I always think a lot about the game. I watch the game with good intent and to learn something from each and every game. I feel that will help me to adapt to different conditions which is very important.

"Mentally, I should be ready to take up the challenge. All the fitness and everything is for that. When you're strong you are able to combat tough situations," Vijay Shankar signed-off.

Team India squad for Nidahas T20 Tri-series 2018:

Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).

By Salman Anjum - 28 Feb, 2018

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