Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar was named in the 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup in England on Monday. The development came as big relief for Shankar, who inclusion was a topic of debate for the last few months.
Shankar, who pipped past Ambati Rayudu to book his place in the Indian squad will be playing his first World Cup and said it was ‘dream come true’ for him.
"I am extremely elated to be in the Indian WC team. This is like a dream come true. We have a few World cup winning team members here at SRH and I have spoken to them to understand what it feels like to play in a WC and then go on to win it. I have learnt a lot from them on the ways to manage pressure at such a large scale event" - Vijay Shankar
According to MSK Prasad, the chief selector, Shankar’s ‘three-dimensional’ abilities clinched the deal for him over Rayudu. Till, last few month Rayudu was an obvious choice for the number four position but Prasad mentioned that Shankar will be the preferred choice to bat at number four.
“We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if conditions are overcast he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Shankar as a No 4 [option],” said Prasad
“The point that was discussed is that Vijay Shankar can bat at No 4, like Kedar Jadhav and we also have a role for KL somewhere at the top of the order. It all depends on the team management,” added Prasad.
Shankar made his ODI debut for India earlier this year in January in Australia. In five ODI innings, he has scored 165 runs till now at an average of 33.00. Currently, Shankar is playing in the Indian Premier League for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Shankar’s Sunrisers’ teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar was elated to be also selected for the World Cup and said he will be looking forward to make perfect use of the English condition.
"“I am extremely happy to be selected for the World Cup, the conducive English conditions will suit my strength and I am looking to make most of it. Playing for SRH in IPL has given me the right match practice just before the mega tournament like WC.”" - Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar, who will be playing his second World Cup, said he is confident of performing a well at the World Cup.
VVS Laxman, the team mentor for Sunrisers Hyderabad, was confident that the Sunrisers duo will contribute in a big way for India in England.
"“I have closely monitored Bhuvi and Vijay in the nets while they were on SRH duties. They look in great shape and are raring to perform on a stage like World Cup. I can see these players contributing in team’s success in a major way.”" - VVS Laxman, Team Mentor, Sunrisers Hyderabad
“The Indian team is a very balanced side and is one of the strong contenders for the title,: added Laxman.
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