With medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar opting to take a break ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur for his wedding, the selectors have given Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar a maiden call-up to the Indian squad.
Vijay has been knocking the doors of the selectors for a while with some consistent performances in the domestic circuit and with India A. After making his debut for Tamil Nadu in 2012, the all-rounder has scored 1671 runs and adding to that, he has accounted for 64 wickets across all formats at an average of 35.
He is a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad squad in the IPL and played a couple of good innings in the handful of matches he played in the 2017 edition.
He was included in the India A squad that toured Australia in 2016 to play in a quadrangular List A series and two four-day matches. Unfortunately, he got injured and underwent a knee surgery. Hardik Pandya replaced him, did well and went on to make his ODI and Test debut later.
Vijay was a part of the India A squad that toured South Africa earlier this year and he was quite decent in the List A tri-series before a ball hit his shoulder and he was left out of action for few weeks.
After making a return in the series against New Zealand, he played a couple of match-winning knocks for India A. He scored an unbeaten 42-ball 47 when his team was trailing at 23/3 chasing 144 before scoring 61 off just 33 balls including five sixes in the last match of the series. In the ongoing Ranji Trophy, he scored a stroke-filled century for TN against Odisha and has looked good with both bat and ball.
Let us take a look at ten things you need to know about the 26-year-old.
1. Vijay Shankar was born on January 26, 1991, in Nellai, Tamil Nadu, before he moved to Chennai later in his career.
2. He bats right-handed and is also a right-arm medium pacer. He considers himself as a genuine all-rounder, who can contribute with both bat and ball.
3. Though he is bowling right-arm medium pace now, he started his career as an off-spinner and decided to change to medium pace so that he can get a place in the Tamil Nadu team that has a lot of offies in it.
4. To avoid travelling to the ground (which is a tiring process) to train, Vijay trains in the terrace of his house that doubles up as his make-shift indoor nets.
5. His father, Mr. H Shankar used to play Cricket in his younger days and his brother, Ajay plays lower-division games in the TNCA division leagues.
6. He is a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit as he averages almost 50 in 32 first-class games.
7. Vijay, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in four matches in the 2017 season, was also a part of Chennai Super Kings until they were suspended for two years. He played just one match for MS Dhoni and co. in 2014.
8. Growing up, Rahul Dravid was his idol and the former India captain's match-winning knocks of 233 and 72* against Australia in Adelaide had a big influence in his career and he often sees those knocks to motivate himself.
9. Earlier this year, in his first assignment as a skipper, Vijay captained Tamil Nadu to triumph in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy.
10. Vijay, whose career is plagued by injuries, recorded a score of 18.5 in the Yo-Yo test (benchmark score is 16.10).