World Cup 2019: Team management’s trust gives me extra motivation, says Vijay Shankar

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: All-rounder Vijay Shankar being picked as India’s No.4 batsman for the World Cup saw the birth of the biggest debate to engulf Indian cricket in recent times. Former cricketers and pundits have had their say and many believe that Ambati Rayudu or Rishabh Pant would have been a better option.

However, the national selectors — clearly thought otherwise when they felt that Shankar fits the bill.

Speaking about the much-debated batting slot in the World Cup, Shankar has learned to de-stress and not get bothered by what is being said around him. For him, it is the team management that counts.

“I had a decent run when I batted at No.3 in the T20 series in New Zealand. The most important thing is that the team management has shown trust in me and believes I can do the job. That gives you extra motivation. The need for the team is my priority and I am always ready to adapt to situations and conditions.

“I am enjoying myself and don’t put any pressure on myself. I like to read the situation and play accordingly. I give importance to work ethics and there is no shortcut,” he smiled.

Asked what exactly has the feedback been from the seniors and head coach Ravi Shastri, Shankar doesn’t wish to divulge much and says that he is a keen observer and looks to imbibe as much as he can when he is around the senior players in the team.

“First of all to be a part of the Indian team is something we all dream about when we start playing. I am someone who looks to imbibe things from Kohli, Mahi bhai or Rohit. I always believe in watching and learning from them. I have interacted with them to help me improve as a cricketer. They have told me that I am doing my job and the focus should be on keeping things simple,” the 29-year-old said.

Comparisons with the team’s numero uno all-rounder Hardik Pandya is bound to happen and even before one brings in the topic of how his bowling could be needed in English conditions, Shankar says that he has been working on his bowling.

“I have been working a lot on my bowling and I am someone who believes in keeping the process right. I feel that if the situation arises when the skipper hands me the ball, I should be confident that I can do the job and only then will that translate into performance. It is all about gaining in confidence with every given opportunity,” he pointed.

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