The 28-year-old pace-bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar has recently impressed with his some brilliant batting performances. Lakshmipathy Balaji, the former Indian pacer, is confident that Vijay Shankar will be in the Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Since his international debut in March 2018, Vijay Shankar has earned limited opportunities. However, in the recent New Zealand tour, the all-rounder has impressed with his brilliant performances.
Vijay Shankar 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. While he put a 98-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Ambati Rayudu, he scored a crucial 45 runs off 64 balls.
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.
Vijay Shankar will be considered as one of the important reserves
Now, Lakshmipathy Balaji believes that Vijay Shankar should be a part of India’s World Cup squad. The former Indian pacer claimed that the all-rounder could provide the strong bench strength for the national side.
Recently, Lakshmipathy Balaji told India Today, “Definitely. Vijay Shankar will be part of India’s World Cup squad. He has produced results with his bat. He should be there because he has showcased his immense potential in the limited chances he has got. He will be considered as one of the important reserves. He may not be fitting in the playing XI, but you need a strong bench strength. You reserve need to fight for spots in the XI.”
Vijay Shankar can play as a top-order batsman
Since his international debut, Vijay Shankar hasn’t earned popularity yet with his bowling performances. While he is still waiting to pick up his first ODI wicket, he has picked up only three wickets in eight T20Is. In recent Australia and New Zealand tour, he failed to pick up at least one wicket.
However, Lakshmipathy Balaji believes that Vijay Shankar can play as a top-order batsman for India. The former pacer feels that the right-handed batsman can be a good option for the no.4 position.
Lakshmipathy Balaji claimed, “So far he has proved himself as a batsman. With his batting ability, now he is pushing his case very very strongly. India are always trying to fill someone at the No. 4 spot. If Vijay Shankar comes good, you have another option for that spot. Vijay Shankar is making a strong case now for a top-order spot. His name will definitely be discussed.”
Talking about his bowling, Lakshmipathy Balaji further added, “He has not got enough opportunities to bowl. But whatever opportunity he got, he was looking okay. He is not someone who is express pace. But the first phase of Vijay Shankar has definitely been good. Now it’s time for him to bat consistently and try bowl full quota of overs.”
Recently, the chief selector MSK Prasad has revealed that Vijay Shankar is in contention for the upcoming World Cup.