Vijay Shankar is just five matches old in international cricket, but the youngster has already realised how challenging it could get in crunch situations.
On Sunday, Dinesh Karthik's last-ball heroics helped India pull off a humdinger against Bangladesh in the final of Nidahas Trophy, but Vijay would have felt the heat during his sluggish 19-ball 17, that resulted in mounting the pressure on India at the end.
Promoted ahead of Karthik in the batting order, the Tamil Nadu youngster failed to make the most of the opportunity and played out a few dot balls. While the social media continues to troll the all-rounder, Vijay admits that the final has been a lesson for him. “I had a decent series. In terms of bowling, I learned a lot. But I batted only in the last innings in the final. The entire thing was different,” Vijay tells Sportstar.
The all-rounder, who is known for his attacking style of play in the domestic circuit, admits that Sunday’s experience would hold him in good stead in the future. “I got a great learning (from that innings). Now, I know what to do in such situation. It will help,” Vijay points out.
But then, there must have been huge pressure on him, after playing out so many dot balls at a crucial stage of the match? Vijay, however, differs.
'I was confident'
“Obviously, there was pressure as we were chasing almost 10 runs per over, but I was confident that I could do it. I was trying to hit over the off-side, and it never went across. But I should have tried connecting the bat onto the ball, and change sides,” he says, adding: “I should have done that rather than blindly going after the ball.”
Those who have seen the 27-year-old from close quarters agree that Vijay does not like conceding dot balls. But on Sunday, he failed to find a way out against the Bangladesh pacers. “It was different for me as I played way too many dot balls and I am not used to it. As a cricketer, I always try to concede least number of dot balls, but…” he chuckles.
After returning back to the pavilion, the senior team-mates' words were uplifting for Vijay, saying that every cricketer has faced such a situation in his life. “The seniors said that it is important to keep moving from here.”
Shifting focus to IPL
Despite featuring in five T20Is for India, Vijay got a chance to bat for the first time on Sunday. “It was just one over (the 18th off Mustafizur Rahman) that went bad. That looked very odd. Because of that particular over, it looked very different. But it’s good that I got such an experience in the first game (as a batsman),” the all-rounder, who picked two wickets and scored 17 runs in the Nidahas Trophy, says.
With national commitments over for the moment, Vijay has already set his sights on the Indian Premier League (IPL) stint with Delhi Daredevils. “My aim is to fine-tune my game, and I am looking forward to playing some good cricket for Daredevils. It would be great if I can help the team sail,” the youngster, who has been picked by Daredevils for Rs. 3.2 crore, points out. He would leave for Delhi later this week to join the camp, and Vijay is confident of delivering the goods for his new IPL franchise.
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