Vijay Shankar's last-over heroics with the ball that earned India a win against Australia in Nagpur on Tuesday capped off a solid performance from the player whose bowling has been under scrutiny.
The team chose Shankar to bowl the last over. Australia needed 11 to win and the move appeared bold, as Shankar had conceded 13 runs in the only over he had bowled in the match. He picked up two wickets in three balls — Marcus Stoinis was trapped lbw with the first delivery, Adam Zampa was bowled with a third ball yorker.
Earlier in the day, Shankar had got fans talking with his batting display.
He was in the middle of an impressive innings before he was run out for 46 (off 41 balls), missing out on a first ODI fifty.
Incidentally, in the fifth ODI against New Zealand in February, he had been run out on 45. During that knock, Shankar, along with Ambati Rayudu, pulled India out of trouble after it had lost four wickets for just 18 runs. Shankar was masterful with the bat before a mix-up cost him his wicket.
Shankar's right-am medium pace had not convinced many hard-to-please fans, but the Nagpur performance set social media abuzz. Praise poured in for the Tamil Nadu player.
While Hardik Pandya looks set to lock one all-rounder spot in the World Cup squad, Shankar is dragging himself into the mix for other spots, according to fans, former cricketers and cricket writers.