Rahul Dravid Told Me That I Have The Shots And Temperament To Be A Finisher – Vijay Shankar
All-rounder Vijay Shankar has recently impressed with his batting skills during the tour of Australia and New Zealand. He has now credited Rahul Dravid for giving him confidence as a batsman.
Since his international debut in March 2018, Vijay Shankar has earned limited opportunities. Recently, during the New Zealand tour, the right-handed batsman impressed with his batting performances. He made his ODI debut on 18 January during the Melbourne ODI. Later, he played three ODIs and three T20Is in New Zealand tour.
During the Wellington ODI, when India was in deep trouble on 18/4, Vijay Shankar played a rescue knock. He scored a crucial 45 runs off 64 balls and also provided the important 98-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Ambati Rayudu.
Later, in the three-match T20I series in New Zealand, the all-rounder scored 27, 14 and 43 runs respectively. In the final T20I, when India had to chase a massive target of 213 runs, Vijay Shankar came to bat at no.3 and played the impressive knock of 43 runs off 28 balls. Though India just failed to reach that target, many experts highly praised his batting performance.
However, Vijay Shankar claimed that he had lost his confidence in batting after his batting failure in the Nidahas Trophy final in March 2018. In that T20I tournament final against Bangladesh, he scored 17 off 19 balls in the crucial death overs. It was the first time when Vijay Shankar batted in international cricket. However, Dinesh Karthik dramatically saved that game.
The all-rounder also revealed how he has got back his confidence in batting. He has credited the India A coach Rahul Dravid who has helped him to get back his faith to his limited-overs batting.
Vijay Shankar told The Indian Express, “I had lost a bit of confidence batting in limited-over matches, after the Nidahas Trophy final. But he [Dravid] put me at ease, told me that I have the shots and temperament to be a finisher. And he told me that he’ll send me at No 5, which he did in the first match [vs New Zealand A], when we were chasing around 300.
“I scored an unbeaten 87 and we won the match. The innings really cleared the self-doubts, and in the next match I scored a 59 in another chase of 300. Now I’m very confident about my batting in limited-over matches. I have better situational awareness and clarity of mind.”
Vijay Shankar’s first meeting with Rahul Dravid
Vijay Shankar also revealed his first meeting incident with Rahul Dravid. It was back in 2012 during the TNCA club match. The all-rounder said that he was nervous to meet his idol.
Vijay Shankar said, “The first time I met Rahul sir was before a TNCA club match (for Vijay CC) in Chennai in 2012, he was then my idol and I was so nervous that I literally froze in the dressing room.
“Two days later, we were batting together in the middle and like all youngsters I wanted to impress him. So I played a couple of extravagant strokes, and he immediately advised me: ‘We have plenty of time, so pace your innings and I want you to finish the innings.’”
Recently, the chief selector MSK Prasad has revealed that Vijay Shankar is in contention for the upcoming World Cup. The all-rounder is now busy to prepare for the forthcoming home limited-overs series against Australia.
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