Not thinking about about World Cup, says Vijay Shankar after India ODI call-up

first_imgVijay Shankar is not thinking about World Cup but is focused on representing India in the ongoing one day international series in Australia, which started on Saturday with the hosts winning the match by 34 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Vijay Shankar will also be part of the Indian team in New Zealand where the two sides will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals later this month.Vijay Shankar replaced Hardik Pandya in the India squad after the Baroda all-rounder suspended by the BCCI for his sexist and racist comments on a popular TV show, Koffee With Karan. India’s U-19 World Cup hero Shubman Gill replaced KL Rahul in the team for the New Zealand tour.The sudden selection and the cloud of uncertainty hovering over Pandya for his transgressions has suddenly brought Shankar into the mix but the Tamil Nadu all-rounder is unfazed about it.”I am not thinking about World Cup and all those things. You can’t play freely if you start thinking like that. I will have to be prepared and if an opportunity comes along the way, I will have to grab it,” Shankar, who has so far played five T20s for India, told PTI.Vijay Shankar was mercilessly roasted by fans when he failed to pick Mustafizur Rahaman’s variations during the Nidahas T20 final but Rahul Dravid’s confidence in his “finishing abilities” has made him more confident for his upcoming second stint with the Indian team.In February last year, Shankar’s big-match temperament was put to test against a quality Bangladesh attack but the Tamil Nadu captain has come a long way since then.advertisement”I think I have become mentally stronger now and I have full confidence that I can finish close matches. The India A tour of New Zealand has helped me understand my game much better,” Shankar said.’DRAVID SIR HAS FAITH IN MY ABILITY’He believes that A team coach Dravid’s decision to send him to bat at No. 5 in New Zealand helped him immensely.”Rahul sir told me one thing that he has faith in my ability to finish games. I think batting at No. 5 also suited my game as I was able to close two games and remain unbeaten,” said Shankar.”The 87 I scored in a chase of 300 plus against New Zealand A gave me a lot belief that I also belong to this level. In another game, I scored 60 odd in a chase.”While batting at No. 5, in all these matches when I was going into bat, we required 150 to 160 runs and it was very important that I paced the innings well and played the role of a finisher,” Shankar explained.While he was bowling four to five overs per match during Vijay Hazare Trophy, he has bowled more overs in Ranji Trophy.”I have put equal emphasis on both aspects of the game. I have completed my 10 over quota in a lot of Hazare games and got breakthroughs. In Ranji Trophy also, I had bowled a lot this season. The best part is that I feel more stronger mentally with the hard work I have put in.”Also Read | Hardik Pandya’s father defends under-fire cricketer: Comments were made in light-hearted mannerAlso Read | Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul controversy won’t affect Indian dressing room: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | Suspended Hardik, Rahul shouldn’t enjoy the perks of travelling with Team India: Gavaskarlast_img

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