Vijay Shankar has admitted that his goal for the national team is to have a fixed batting position, which he believes will help him start converting the 30s and 40s into three figures. He also regrets that constant comparison with Hardik Pandya has affected his performance in the recent past.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder was drafted into the Indian squad just ahead of the 2019 World Cup to fill the No.4 void, with Ambati Rayudu’s declining form. However, Shankar was ruled out of the tournament with a toe injury and replaced by the left-handed Rishabh Pant.
Since then, the 29-year-old has not made an appearance for the Indian team, with Shreyas Iyer filling the No.4 spot for Virat Kohli and co. However, throughout his International career, the right-handed all-rounder has been thrown up and down the batting order, which he admitted has caused his downfall.
"Over the years, if you see, I have batted in all middle-order slots and adapted to the needs of the team. However, when people ask me what my goal is, I tell them that I need to have a fixed batting position. If I bat at Number 3 or 4, then only can I think about all these goals. If I am always shifting my batting position, then I will only end up getting those 30s and 40s," he told PTI, reported TOI.
"I missed out on two opportunities and one was against Afghanistan (he scored 29). Against the West Indies, I got a good delivery. Before that I had successive 40 plus scores against New Zealand in a tough game and against Australia. Had I converted even one start into a big knock, it would have been a different story," he added.
Moreover, since his first appearance for the national team, the lanky cricketers has had to deal with the tag of being a replacement to all-rounder Hardik Pandya. While the tag of being a replacement has not only affected the Tamil Nadu all-rounder, it has also caused major problems for newbie Shivam Dube with it affecting his form.
"If it starts affecting me (that Hardik is the No 1 choice) then I will lose out on games that I have with me. If I focus on the games that I have and have match-winning performances, then my name will be there in the circuit (reckoning). If I perform, people will talk about me and if some opportunity arises, I will be getting into the Indian side. So I can't think about what other players are doing," he concluded.
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