All-rounder Vijay Shankar, who represented India at the 2019 World Cup, has had a dramatic fall from grace over the past two years. The 30-year-old was picked ahead of Ambati Rayudu at the marquee tournament but fell out of favour soon after.
The then chief selector MSK Prasad said Shankar was picked in the squad since he was a 3D (3-dimensional) player. However, the return of Hardik Pandya and inconsistent performances for Tamil Nadu as well as SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) led to Shankar's oust from the Indian set-up.
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Shankar, who has even considered switching to a different state team to boost his comeback chances, hopes to keep performing consistently and spend more time in the middle.
"One year back I definitely had this thought of moving to some other state, because of the different batting orders that I was getting. As a cricketer, I need to keep performing. Only when I keep scoring runs, people will keep looking at me. For that, I need more time (in the middle), need to score lots of runs and pick wickets,’’ Shankar told News18 in an interview.
Shankar also said that he needs to 'spend more time on the crease' for scoring runs, highlighting constant chopping and changing of his batting position. He sets his sights on becoming an all-rounder like Jacques Kallis or Shane Watson, who can bat up the order and bowl too.
"If I have to score runs, I need to spend more time on the crease. So I’m not saying I want to open the batting. Just saying, even if I bat at No. 4 or 5, let it be one slot at least for domestic. And then if I don’t score runs, drop me, I’m okay. That’s what I have missed out on in the last two years.
"I’m an all-rounder, but I’m known for my batting. So just because I’m an all-rounder, it shouldn’t be like I should bat only at No. 6 or 7. I can also be someone like Jacques Kallis or Shane Watson."
"They open the innings or bat at No. 3 and bowl. It’s not a compulsion that an all-rounder has to bat at No. 6-7. If I can score runs at the top, and pick wickets, it’s good for the team too, right?" said Shankar.