Vijay Shankar has stated that it is important for him to learn from experienced players like MS Dhoni. Shankar was named in the squad for the World Cup and chief selector MSK Prasad had remarked that he was chosen for the number four slot over Ambati Rayudu due to his three-dimensional abilities.
Vijay Shankar was hardly in contention for the World Cup slot a few months ago, however, the ouster of Hardik Pandya for a series gave him a chance to make his debut in the series in Australia earlier this year. He did not get a chance to bat in that series but when he finally got one, he scored 45 runs in the fifth ODI against New Zealand and followed it up with 84 runs in three T20Is against the same opposition. His exploits coupled with Ambati Rayudu’s failure in three innings more or less ensured his spot in the squad for the quadrennial event. The all-rounder will play at the number four spot in the showpiece event and he hopes to learn from the likes of MS Dhoni among others.
"Someone like him (MS Dhoni) has done a lot for the country, He has won many matches for the team. It is important for me to learn many things from him. Everyone in our team has achieved a lot of things and I should learn from everyone. Mahi bhai, has played in every type of situations, so it's my duty to learn from him," Shankar said, reported ANI.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder is known for his big hitting abilities down the order and thereby, the number four position will come as a new challenge for him. Shankar reiterated that he will play according to the match situation.
"There's a difference between batting at number four position and batting in the lower order. How I prepare myself will be a real challenge for me. I need to be in good shape, the most important thing will be how I play according to the situation. I should be equipped to play in any condition," the 28-year-old said.
"Number four slot, there have many been speculations about that slot. It is really important for me to keep things simple. Other things are not in my control, I should try to control what I can."
Shankar has only played nine ODIs and T20Is each so far and this will be his first ever World Cup. Shankar played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this season of the Indian Premier League. He was given a huge responsibility and played at the number three slot during the initial matches but was moved down the order after his repeated failures. He eventually ended up with 244 runs in 14 innings but felt that he needs to move on from that failure.
"Everyone's dream is to first play for the country. Whenever you step in, you are wearing the Indian jersey and it is very special. The World Cup experience is all the more special as it happens once in 4 years and being named in the 15-member Indian squad, I am very happy about it.
"So wherever I play, I try to play with the same intensity. Every game I play, I try to make sure I get something out of that match. So as a cricketer I feel, you have to move forward and keep believing in your ability," Shankar signed off.
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