He might have played just three games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) so far but Vijay Shankar believes sitting on the bench was a learning experience and not a waste of time. This mindset kept him in good stead on Saturday as the 26-year old not only got his highest IPL score but also stitched a crucial century stand with skipper David Warner that saw Sunrisers Hyderabad leap into second spot.
The Tamil Nadu youngster, previously with Chennai Super Kings but having played just one game over three seasons before being picked up by Sunrisers, repaid the franchise's faith. “It’s a special innings for me and I was ready for such a situation. I did not miss a single moment of any game even when I was on the bench in the previous matches,” Shankar admitted after the match, adding that he would keep working in the nets to prepare himself for any potential pressure situation in games.
Crediting Warner for ensuring stability in the middle, Shankar said he had the best seat in the house watching his skipper carve out a patient innings. Shankar also credited the bowlers for keeping things under control. “It was great to bat with Warner, who was doing so well at the other end, making it easy for me to continue my strokeplay. It was also a great effort from our bowlers to pull things back after a brilliant start from Gujarat Lions,” Shankar said.
Gujarat Lions’ head coach Brad Hodge, meanwhile, preferred to look at the positives of what was a disappointing season for the team that would cease to exist after Saturday. “We got many positives this time and I believe, individually, many of our players have improved their knowledge of the game,” he insisted.
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