Vijay Shankar, who complimented Manish Pandey nicely with almost a run-a-ball half-century after a successful bowling show, has stated that it was a do-or-die game for him where he had to perform. Shankar has also added that he communicated nicely with Pandey and wanted to take some burden off him.
Vijay Shankar dropped a catch early but made up for that with some fantastic bowling and an important wicket in the form of Jos Buttler. He started slow and then made up for that with some picture-perfect blow at the end to score his second IPL half-century. It was a day of bittersweet irony for the man from Tamil Nadu, whose career has been a roller-coaster in the last three years. One could take it as a redemption of sorts but for Shankar, it was actually huge relief after a string of below-par performances.
“Personally this was a do-or-die game for me. I batted just 18 balls prior to this. It was a good challenge and I was looking forward to something like this because it will give me a lot of confidence if I do well in that situation. I asked Manish if I should go for the shots because I didn't want him to feel the pressure because of me and play a rash shot. We were communicating in that partnership, that's why we were able to take the game deep.
While his batting must have given him a lot of confidence going into the backend of the tournament, what will impress the team the most was his adaptability with the ball. Complimenting the likes of Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan upfront, Shankar just gave away 15 runs in three overs, dismissing a dangerous Jos Butter. Shankar revealed that his plan of bowling regular cross-seamed deliveries turned out to be the biggest differentiator.
“I have been bowling pretty well, I don't know when I will get the ball so I just wanted to be ready whenever I'm called. I tried to take pace off, hit the hard length and bowl cross-seamed. We just thought we should take the game deep. We knew Jofra would come hard at us,” Shankar concluded.