INDIA TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND 2019
Cricbuzz Staff •
“The freedom that we get from this management is the best thing for us” – Shankar © Getty
Despite a 2-1 series loss to New Zealand in the T20Is, there were a few positives for India. Among them was the emergence of Vijay Shankar, who impressed with the bat with a breezy 43 in the third T20I in Hamilton, which India lost by four runs. Thanking the team management for showing the faith in him and also giving him the freedom, Shankar said his experience with the Indian team has been a good learning curve.
“The freedom that we get from this management is the best thing for us. I think T20 is a game where you cannot be rigid in thinking, you need to be really flexible. As batters, we need to be really open and know the situation and be aware of what’s happening around. Whether it be the breeze or the bowlers, we think a lot about all these things,” Shankar said.
“The matches that I’ve played so far I did reasonably well. I could have done a lot better, but as I said earlier, it’s great learning for me, and I’m just looking to get better every day,” he added.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who has been economical with the ball in the ODI games before the T20I series, wasn’t given the ball during the 20-over games. Meanwhile, he was promoted up the order to bat at No. 3 where he came up with a couple of useful contributions.
“If they ask me to bowl I have to be ready for that and with my batting, it was a big surprise when they asked me to bat number three in the first game. That’s a good thing for me, and I think I did reasonably well in that. For me it is about playing the situation. If I can play the situation and win matches for my team then that will be the best thing for me,” he said about his roles in the recent games.
Shankar, who had a difficult time with the bat a few months ago during the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh, when he laboured to a 19-ball 17 before Dinesh Karthik bailed the team out, feels he has learnt a thing or two about tense chances. Especially, having watch MS Dhoni finish a few games.
“Someone like him (Dhoni), everyone will look up to him. He’s a legend and he’s won so many matches for his country, and even the last couple of games we batted, for someone like me, I enjoy watching that and I try to learn a lot from watching each and every player in our team. He has done a lot for the team. I see how he chases the total, everything is great learning for me.”