The team’s need is my priority: Vijay Shankar

The all-rounder believes he can do the job as India’s No. 4 batsman

All-rounder Vijay Shankar is not fazed by the controversy surrounding him for being picked as India’s No. 4 batsman for the World Cup.

Former players and pundits have had their say and many believe that Ambati Rayudu or Rishabh Pant would have been a better option. But then, the National selectors clearly thought otherwise.

Vijay Shankar, however, on his part, has learned to de-stress and not get bothered by what is being said around him. For him, it is the team management that counts.

“I had a decent run when I batted at No.3 in the T20 series in New Zealand. The most important thing is that the team management has shown trust in me and believes I can do the job. That gives you extra motivation. The need of the team is my priority and I am always ready to adapt to situations and conditions.

“I am enjoying myself and don’t put any pressure on myself. I like to read the situation and play accordingly. I give importance to work ethics and there is no shortcut,” he said.

on the feedback been from the seniors and head coach Ravi Shastri, he doesn’t wish to divulge much and says he is a keen observer and looks to imbibe as much as he can when he is around the seniors in the team.

“First of all to be a part of the Indian team is something we all dream about when we start playing. I am someone who looks to imbibe things from Kohli, Mahi bhai or Rohit. I always believe in watching and learning from them. I have interacted with them to help me improve as a cricketer. They have told me that I am doing my job and the focus should be on keeping things simple,” the 29-year-old said.

Comparisons with Hardik Pandya is bound to come up and even before one brings in the topic of how his bowling could be needed in English conditions, Vijay Shankar says he has been working on his bowling.

“I have been working a lot on my bowling and I believe in keeping the process right. I feel that if the situation arises when the skipper hands me the ball, I should be confident that I can do the job and only then will that translate into performance. It is all about gaining in confidence with every given opportunity,” he said.

Interestingly, criticism and Shankar have a history. Not many have forgotten the all—rounder’s struggle against Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy.

Vijay Shankar, however, said it was a life lesson and one that made him a stronger human being. “I would definitely say the Nidahas Trophy was a life changing experience as a cricketer for me. It has taught me how to handle situations. That incident showed me that one bad day isn’t the end of the world. It taught me to enjoy every moment and that I must focus on giving my 100 per cent,” he said.

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