‘Can’t think what other players are doing,’: Vijay Shankar on comparisons with Hardik Pandya

Home / Cricket / ‘Can’t think what other players are doing,’: Vijay Shankar on comparisons with Hardik Pandya

Allrounder Vijay Shankar is not affected by his comparisons with Hardik Pandya as the allrounder feels doing so will not be in the best of his interests. Shankar, who broke into the Indian ODI team in January 2019, almost a year after his international debut, has played 21 matches so far and was even part of the World Cup squad. However, a foot injury in the middle of the tournament ruled him out.

With Pandya making a comeback into the Indian team, Shankar finds himself in a tough spot. But the allrounder insists he is not losing sleep over his desire to return to the team and definitely not over the rampant comparisons with the dynamic Pandya.

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“If it starts affecting me (that Hardik is the No 1 choice) then I will lose out on games that I have with me. If I focus on the games that I have and have match-winning performances, then my name will be there in the circuit (reckoning),” Vijay told PTI during an interview.

“If I perform, people will talk about me and if some opportunity arises, I will be getting into the Indian side. So, I can’t think about what other players are doing.”

Despite recovering to full fitness, Shankar hasn’t played for the Indian team since. He was part of the India A squad that toured New Zealand earlier this year, as Hardik Pandya’s replacement, and had a decent work-out in the second warm-up match, scoring a 41-ball 58. He was expensive with the ball before finishing the tour with a 66 against New Zealand A in Lincoln.

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“My dream is not just to get there and be a mere survivor. Only if I excel can I prolong my international career. It’s important for us to be at our best when we go to international level,” he said.

“Over the years, if you see, I have batted in all middle-order slots and adapted to the needs of the team. However, when people ask me what my goal is, I tell them, for that I need to have a fixed batting position. If I bat at Number 3 or 4, then only can I think about all these goals. If I am always shifting my batting position, then I will only end up getting those 30s and 40s.”

Looking back at his World Cup run, Shankar, who played three matches in the tournament, admitted he could have done better with the chances he got.

“I missed out on two opportunities and one was against Afghanistan (he scored 29). Against the West Indies, I got a good delivery. Before that I had successive 40 plus scores against New Zealand in a tough game and against Australia. Had I converted even one start into a big knock, it would have been a different story,” Shankar rued.

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