Cricket

All you need to know about Vijay Shankar

Vijay Shankar was playing a Ranji Trophy match for Tamil Nadu in Indore when he was told, on Monday evening, “to get ready”. The national selectors announced later that night that Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had been released from the squad for the second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur, and that Vijay would be Bhuvneshwar’s replacement for the remainder of the series.

Tamil Nadu allrounder Vijay Shankar has been on the fringes of selection, so his elevation to the Test squad shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 26-year-old has also been part of the India A squad and is an emerging allrounder. He bats in the middle order and bowls right-arm medium-pace – he started out as an offspinner but switched to seam bowling to lend more variety to the Tamil Nadu attack, given the presence of R. Ashwin and other spinners in the squad.

Vijay comes from a cricket-loving family. His father, H.Shankar is a former club cricketer and his brother plays league cricket as well. His father went the extra mile to support his sons’ cricketing ambitions by constructing a net-practice facility at the terrace of their two-storey house in Madipakkam, a Chennai suburb. With astro truf and a bowling machine to boot, Vijay was spared the trouble of travelling far for daily practice. It’s a story quite similar to that of Yuvraj Singh, whose dad Yograj built a net at their Chandigarh home three decades ago.

 

Vijay has a reputation for being a big hitter, making him useful as a limited-overs batsman, but has shown that he can adapt to the longer formats. He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2012-13, playing three games and scoring an unbeaten century.

His breakthrough Ranji season was in 2014-15, during which he scored 577 runs in seven matches, scoring two hundreds and three fifties. He also picked up eight wickets. That earned him a call-up to the India A squad to face Australia A and he made an impact straightaway, scoring a fifty.

Vijay has also toured South Africa with the A side, where he played an important role in helping India clinch the tri-series by scoring 72 in the final. He was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad during the 2016 auction and in four matches he has a highest score of 63.

 

In his short career though, Vijay has had his share of injury troubles. “It was frustrating missing matches, but I kept working hard at my rehab with intensity and sincerity,” Vijay told The Hindu on Monday. Nevertheless, it didn’t deter Tamil Nadu from naming him as the State captain for the limited-overs tournaments. He captained the side to title triumphs in the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophies last season.

At the time of writing, Vijay averages just under 50 in 32 first-class matches and has 27 first-class wickets.

If Vijay does make his Test debut in Nagpur, it will be a coincidence of sorts because his namesake in the Tamil Nadu and India squad, M. Vijay, made his debut at the same venue, eight years ago.

Source: ESPNcricinfo, The Hindu

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 7:56:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/all-you-need-to-know-about-vijay-shankar/article20609854.ece

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