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With the showpiece event a mere couple of days ahead, teams are announcing their final World Cup squad. The last to disclose final squad list for all the teams was announced as 23rd of May. Pakistan has announced their squad list on 20th May whereas England edited its the 17-man squad to 15. However, India had decided to make no changes in their squad. Well, Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya are in the 15-man coveted squad.
From the start of the announcement of the World Cup squad, there has been hustle about the fourth position in the Indian squad. Since the exit of Yuvraj Singh, India has struggled to find a suitable No.4 for the national team. And now, finally, they seem to have the Tamil Nadu allrounder as their possible number 4th.
All-rounder’s into some business:
With some of his impressive performances for the national team earlier this during New Zealand tour, Vijay Shankar has come up as a possible number fourth player. Although the team has tried their luck with Hardik Pandya, nothing has been made clear.
Meanwhile, Shankar has declined to feel any competition with Pandya for the said position. Both Pandya and Shankar come from two different strength base.
Pandya has been an excellent finisher and has strengthened the lower batting order for the team. Whereas, Shankar has been a core middle-order batsman. This probably could be the reason for Shankar to feel that the two ain’t in the race for the allrounder’s spot.
“I don’t think I am competing with Hardik. He is a terrific cricketer. Yes, we are allrounders but we are different from each other. And why do we need to compete? It would be great if both of us can contribute in India’s victory,” Shankar replied when asked about comparisons with the Baroda man.
Both Pandya and Shankar are known for hitting big sixes in the game, especially when nothing works. Where Pandya is a brute force wreaking havoc on the ground, for Shankar it is more about the body balance for lifting the ball off the ground.
“I love hitting those big sixes. The key for me is to retain my shape. I have not been successful when I have tried to muscle the ball. But whenever I have held shape, the ball has gone into the stands,” he explained.
Shankar All-Geared Up Before the Mega Event
Upon asking about his preparations for the number four position, Shankar said that the New Zealand series has boosted up his confidence in the game.
He said, “The series against New Zealand was a great confidence-booster as I could score that 40 odd in touch conditions when the team needed me. I needed that self-belief and now I am ready for whatever the team tells me to do.”
And while the World Cup-bound team has been asked to relax before the big event, Shankar was busy working on some of his “technical issues”.
“I batted indoors with my childhood coach. I had got some valuable tips from VVS Laxman at Sunrisers Hyderabad. And I make sure I am working on them. After that, I went to the Guru Nanak University ground where I bowl.
“I don’t bowl indoors as I bowl with a full run-up. There are times I do single wicket bowling. And there are times I try practice hitting a specific length,” the 27-year-old talked about his working regime.
And amongst all the good news, Shankar was happy about his family travelling to England for the matches.
He said, “They will be there during the World Cup. And it’s always great to have your family by your side when you are a part of such a big tournament.”