Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar has ridden impressive performances with both bat and ball in his short international career to earn a place in India’s 15man squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. Slotted into the side as India’s new No. 4, Shankar is expected to play a few good hands in India’s campaign in England. However, his dreams might have not come to reality sans a fortunate ‘no-ball’ by from Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur.
The two players recently came up against each other during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 where Shankar was playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad while Thakur donned the Chennai Super Kings jersey. In a recent interview with Gaurav Kapur on Youtube talk-show ‘Breakfast with Champions’, Shankar when asked about the turning points of his career, narrated an incident from his Ranji Trophy days in never-heard-before detail. It involved a run-out, a clean bowled and a no-ball.
“First thing was during the Ranji Trophy. It was an incident where I and my captain were playing we had a good partnership and then we ended up having a run-out in the middle as he got out and then we lost that game,” said Shankar.
“After that, I was completely pushed into a corner. We both were fine – there was no problem with the captain or the coach – but people from outside chatted like: ‘This will be his last game for Tamil Nadu and he will never play for TN again’. And then I had to fight it out to get into the TN side,” added Shankar.
Dwelling further Shankar said that the major turning point arrived when he was playing against Mumbai in Chennai.
“I still remember, even after the CSK game Shardul was telling me: ‘I was the one who gave you a life’. We played in Chennai against Mumbai and it was a rank-turner and Shardul bowled a beauty and I was bowled. And it was a massive no-ball. I was batting on 5, then I ended up getting 95 in that game. So that could have been my last game for TN if not for that no-ball. That 95 helped me and I had a very good season and ended up getting into the India A side and everything changed from that,” explained Shankar.
Vijay Shankar wasn’t part of the India side that turned up against New Zealand in their 1st warm-up match. Having injured his right forearm during training the all-rounder will be looking to play India’s inaugural game of the World Cup against South Africa on June 5.