Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya can fit in the playing XI, opines Ashish Nehra

Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya can fit in the playing XI, opines Ashish Nehra

Shankar has really impressed a lot of people with his batting of late.

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

Veteran cricketer Ashish Nehra has opened up about his stand regarding Vijay Shankar’s position in the Indian team. It can be said that the 28-year-old middle-order batsman has almost cemented his position in the World Cup squad after a match-winning performance for India on Tuesday, March 5. Post the victory, the former Indian cricketer remarked that while Vijay can fit anywhere between No.4 to No.6 in the batting line-up, Pandya is the better bowler and more of an all-rounder and hence both players could fit into the same playing XI.

He held his nerve in the final over and bagged a couple of wickets while defending 11 runs, that was required off the last over, thus securing a remarkable victory for the hosts. Apart from his commendable death bowling, his 46-ball 41 in the first innings has caught many eyes and also got him the approval of his captain.

To elaborate on the efficiency of his innings, let’s look at CricProf’s analysis: “Vijay Shankar’s 46 (41) today was seriously promising for India, playing an extremely low 4.1% false shots. The last time an Indian who wasn’t Rohit, Dhawan or Kohli made that many runs, with that much control, was Hardik Pandya in the Champions Trophy Final.”

Before the start of the series in New Zealand, we all remembered the right-arm medium pacer for his plays and misses in the Nidahas Trophy last year. He had to face a lot of criticism for the same. But all of that is history now. Vijay has now evolved, having shown immense disposition while bowling the final over for India, at Nagpur. However, he’s not even a third or fourth choice as a bowler given to his limitations of speed, which does not go past the lower 130kph range. But his confidence in batting has extended to his bowling as well.

Ashish Nehra‘s thoughts on Vijay Shankar

For every newcomer, little positives can boost up their confidence and the same happened with Vijay in the 2nd ODI against Australia, Ashish Nehra said, “There’s no doubt as to how talented a batsman Vijay Shankar is. He has a good skill set in batting.”

“Pandya is more of an all-rounder and the better bowler but Shankar can definitely get better with time,” Nehra concluded saying that Hardik Pandya and Vijay have different roles in the team and hence can be a part of the same playing XI.

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