Hardik Pandya’s moment of madness gives Vijay Shankar another shot at redemption

first_imgVijay Shankar received his maiden one-day international cap from the Indian cricket team early on Friday as he makes his ODI debut in the third and final match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Shankar has become the 226th ODI player for India after replacing Mohammed Siraj in the playing XI.Shankar was called in to the team after the suspension of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul due to their Koffee with Karan controversy. Shankar filled in the all-rounder’s spot in the squad which was left vacant after Pandya had to return home along with Rahul following their sexist remarks on Karan Johar’s show earlier this month.Hardik’s moment of madness and irresponsible behaviour has given Shankar a big opportunity to cement his place in the ODI team even after his struggles in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka last year.Vijay Shanker is all set to make his debut for #TeamIndia #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/ErqruCeXBsBCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2019He played five Twenty20 Internationals during the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In the five matches, he took three wickets at an average of 51.INDIA VS AUSTRALIA 3RD ODI LIVE CRICKET SCOREWith the bat, Shankar played just one innings and that too in the final where he struggled to score runs quickly and almost took India out of the run chase of with his 19-ball 17.Chasing 167 in the title clash of the T20I tri series in Colombo, India had suffered a couple of early setbacks but stayed on course thanks to an aggressive 56 from Rohit Sharma.advertisementBut the chase got tricky again after Rohit’s departure and the team management decided to send Vijay up the order at No.6, ahead of the more experienced Dinesh Karthik.Batting for the first time in an international match, Vijay was all at sea and failed to score a single run against Mustafizur Rahman in the crucial 18th over – he ran a leg bye off the fifth ball and Manish Pandey was out slogging off the final delivery.However, Dinesh Karthik came in and smashed 22 runs off the 19th over from Rubel Hossain and India were left with 12 off the final over.Vijay was in the spotlight once again – the first ball was a wide down leg side but he failed to connect the first legitimate delivery of the 20th over. He then ran a single but found himself on strike again for the fourth ball which he placed for a boundary. However, he was dismissed in the penultimate ball, leaving Karthik to get five off the final delivery.Karthik of course smashed it for a six to seal a famous Indian win but Vijay was still shaken up even as the entire team celebrated.”When everyone was rejoicing after the final, I was feeling very disheartened at how things panned out. It was an opportunity given to me to become a hero. I should have finished the match.”It was an off-day for me but I am finding it difficult to forget. I know I need to move on. I had a good tournament until that final day,” Shankar had said after the game.But life has given him another shot at redemption all thanks to Hardik and Rahul’s brain fade moment on a TV show.What has helped Shankar to make a comeback in the side is his form in domestic cricket. In his last 10 matches — domestic cricket and India A – Shankar has taken only four wickets but scored 539 runs with the bat.The 27-year-old Tamil Nadu cricketer bats right-handed and is a medium fast bowler, who proved his prowess with the bat, finishing on top of the batting charts during the one-day series with India A in New Zealand.Shankar, after getting the opportunity to be with the team, said he just wanted to play freely and not think about selection in the upcoming ICC World Cup.”I am not thinking about World Cup and all those things. You can’t play freely if you start thinking like that. I will have to be prepared and if an opportunity comes along the way, I will have to grab it,” Shankar told PTI.”I think I have become mentally stronger now and I have full confidence that I can finish close matches. The India A tour of New Zealand has helped me understand my game much better,” Shankar said.last_img read more

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