Vijay Shankar has admitted that he has tweaked his bowling action to make a bigger impact on the game, with the all-rounder having bowled just eight overs last season. Shankar also opined that he relishes the opportunity to play as a floater with the bat, be it for Tamil Nadu or Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Since the turn of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, criticism for Vijay Shankar has come from all corners of the cricketing world. The all-rounder, who spent most parts of 2019 away on the sidelines due to injury was marginally involved as a bowler during the season. In the Ranji Trophy season, the lanky pacer only bowled 16 overs while having bowled just the eight overs in the IPL last season for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
However, this bowling action would be extremely important for the franchise this season in the Middle East. Rightly so, the all-rounder too has made the fullest use of the lockdown and revealed that he has tweaked his bowling to make a bigger impact on the game. Batting would still remain a vital cog of his gameplay, with 557 runs in two campaigns for the Hyderabad-based franchise.
"I am keen to make a bigger impact on the game and that’s the reason I chose to tweak my bowling. Having said that, batting and fielding hasn’t been left behind as an allrounder must excel in every facet of the game," Shankar told TOI.
Shankar also hinted that his extra yards in the long lockdown period will result in increasing his pace, from the usual 130 kmph.
"Remaining fit was the primary focus during lockdown but once things eased up a little - I began focusing on all aspects of my game. I have always felt that I could bowl a little quicker and chose to work on increasing my pace. The result of the hard yards I have put in will only be seen when I begin bowling during a match," Shankar added.
Another fascinating part of Shankar’s game is that he could be used as a floater, which has not only benefitted the Tamil Nadu team in the past but also has helped the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Talking about that aspect of his game, the all-rounder admitted that playing as a floater only helped him understand the shortest format of the game much better.
"Be it while playing list-A games for TN or in IPL, my batting slot has always been flexible. Initially I would have regretted not getting a slot (while playing for TN), but I soon accepted it and adjusted accordingly. Now, I relish the role of a floater be it for my state side or in IPL. It has only helped me to prepare for a game better because the requirements for a No.3 spot are different from No.4 or 5 and so on," assessed Shankar.