I have no competition with Hardik Pandya, says Vijay Shankar

On batting at No.4, Vijay said he gathered necessary confidence during the series against New Zealand earlier in the year.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni with Jasprit Bumrah and Vijay Shankar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Vijay Shankar was picked in the Indian squad in the place of Hardik Pandya for the three ODIs in Australia earlier this year. The ace all-rounder faced a temporary suspension then following a controversy on air that paved the way for the Tamil Nadu batting all-rounder. Vijay made good utilisation of the opportunity and eventually made it to India’s World Cup squad, pipping a more tried Ambati Rayudu whose form ditched him at a crucial juncture.

Vijay has in fact been picked to man the No.4 position in the Indian batting order after the team management failed to find a permanent solution in Rayudu. However, the 28-year-old’s poor form in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 raised questions over the viability of the decision of playing him at a crucial position in England’s seaming conditions.

Another factor that has come on Vijay’s way is comparison with Hardik as the team’s main two all-rounders. However, Vijay feels that the comparison is not just as his style is different from Hardik who he called a “terrific cricketer”.

“I don’t think I am competing with Hardik. He is a terrific cricketer. Yes, we are all-rounders but we are different from each other. And why do we need to compete? It would be great if both of us can contribute in India’s victory,” India.com cited reports quoting Vijay as saying while answering whether he is in competition with the Baroda all-rounder.

The two cricketers also had a completely contrasting experience in this year’s IPL. While Hardik excelled with phenomenal hitting down the order besides picking the useful wickets in the tournament for champions Mumbai Indians, Vijay, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, was nowhere near the form he had exhibited in the international matches earlier this year.

Vijay’s concept of hitting sixes is not about power

Vijay though is also known for his ability to hit the big sixes but he feels it is more about body balance than sheer power while trying to send the ball sailing into the stands.

“I love hitting those big sixes. The key for me is to retain my shape. I have not been successful when I have tried to muscle the ball but whenever I have held shape, the ball has gone into the stands,” he said.

On batting at No.4, Vijay said he gathered necessary confidence during the series against New Zealand earlier in the year and he now has the self-belief to do whatever the team wants him to.

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