Not thinking about World Cup selection, says Vijay Shankar after Nagpur heroics

Shankar has come a long way since the Nidahas Trophy final.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

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First, he chipped in with the bat scoring a valuable 46 off 41 deliveries before getting run-out in the most unfortunate manner. And then, as the game drew to a close, he came to action again by picking two wickets in the final over to give India an eight-run win. One of the heroes of Men in Blue’s victory over Australia in the second ODI in Nagpur on Tuesday – Vijay Shankar – is believed to have inched closer to a World Cup squad berth though the cricketer himself is not ready to think too far ahead.

Shankar’s all-round show saw India win by eight runs

Shankar came out to bat in the game with India reduced to 75 for 3. He chose to counter attack the Aussie bowlers and put up 81 runs in 71 balls with captain Virat Kohli (116) for the fourth wicket to take the hosts to a comfortable position. He was looking for a certain and well-deserved half-century when a straight drive from Kohli caught him short of the crease and his promising innings came to a premature halt.

Vijay Shankar then came to bowl the final over the game with Australia requiring 11 runs with two wickets in hand. The medium-fast bowler took both the wickets in three balls and conceded just two runs to see India home. He pinned the dangerous looking Marcus Stoinis (52) in front of the stumps off the very first ball of the over and it was the first wicket for him in the ODIs.

His stellar performance in the game will strengthen his candidature for the WC squad which is likely to be picked by next month though the player said he was not thinking on those lines.

“I’ve said previously also that I never think about the selection or World Cup thing because it’s a long way off from now. Every game is very important. I just look to give my best and win a game for the team,” he said in the post-match press conference.

Vijay also said that his struggle in rotating the strike in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20I tournament in Sri Lanka a year ago was a big learning curve for him and the lesson helped him in the pressure situation on Tuesday.

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