Vijay Shankar, who got the opportunity to represent India during the recently concluded Twenty-20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, has already understood the challenges of international cricket. If not for Dinesh Karthik's 8-ball 29 in the final against Bangladesh, Vijay could have felt the heat for his turtle-paced innings of 17 runs in 19 balls.
The Tamil Nadu youngster had played quite a few dot balls after being promoted ahead of Karthik in the batting order. While the Indian fans in social media still trolling the all-round cricketer, Vijay Shankar admits that the nerve-wrecking final taught him a lot.
“I had a decent series. In terms of bowling, I learned a lot. But I batted only in the last innings in the final. The entire thing was different,” Vijay told Sportstar.
“I got a great learning (from that innings). Now, I know what to do in such situation. It will help,” he added.
Chasing Bangladesh’s target of 167 runs, India didn’t experience the best of starts as Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina perished for 10 and 0 respectively. However, India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma was determined to prove his worth in the big game and he did with a glorious 42-ball 56. Bangladeshi bowlers though managed to pull things back by dismissing Rohit in the 14th over.
India were requiring 34 runs in the last 2 overs and Karthik managed to turn things around by scoring 22 runs in the penultimate over off Rubel Hossain. Needing 12 runs in the final over, firstly Vijay Shankar hit a crucial boundary in the fourth delivery before getting dismissed in the very next ball. In the last delivery, Karthik launched Soumya Sarkar over extra cover to seal the deal.
“Obviously, there was pressure as we were chasing almost 10 runs per over, but I was confident that I could do it. I was trying to hit over the off-side, and it never went across. But I should have tried connecting the bat onto the ball, and change sides. I should have done that rather than blindly going after the ball,” Shankar said.
“It was different for me as I played way too many dot balls and I am not used to it. As a cricketer, I always try to concede least number of dot balls, but…” he further asserted.
Despite featuring in five T20Is for India in the Twenty-20 tri-series, Vijay got a chance to bat for the first time on Sunday.
“It was just one over (the 18th off Mustafizur Rahman) that went bad. That looked very odd. Because of that particular over, it looked very different. But it’s good that I got such an experience in the first game (as a batsman),” the all-rounder said.
Vijay was roped in by Delhi Daredevils for INR 3.2 crores during the IPL auction in January and he is keen to prove his mettle in the cash-rich league.
“My aim is to fine-tune my game, and I am looking forward to playing some good cricket for Daredevils. It would be great if I can help the team sail,” Vijay Shankar concluded.