Vijay Shankar recalls memorable World Cup debut against Pakistan

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Vijay Shankar (Screengrab: Hotstar)

Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar was last seen donning the Indian jersey during the 2019 World Cup held in England and Wales. He was drafted into the team as Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement.


Shankar made his World Cup debut against the arch-rivals Pakistan. He scored 15 runs with the bat, and with the ball, the Tamil Nadu cricketer opened India’s wicket count by dismissing Pakistani opener Imam ul Haq of his very first ball.

It all happened when Indian frontline bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to walk off the field due to a hamstring. He could only bowl 2.4 overs and to complete his over, Indian captain Virat Kohli handed over the responsibility to Shankar. The Tirunelveli-born started with a bang after adjudging Imam lbw and sent him back to the pavilion.


It was undoubtedly a perfect debut for any player, and Shankar recently recalled the golden memories. He shared an interesting story while talking to a news agency.

“Yeah, that as well as making my WC debut against Pakistan. It (the wicket) happened very quickly. The captain might sometimes tell you in advance but sometimes a bowler might get injured and you should be ready. That’s what happened. I was standing at point and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) got injured and they just called me up. All I was thinking was ‘just bowl in the right areas’,” Shankar told the New Indian Express.

Dhawan’s injury also helped Shankar to bat up the order as it gave KL Rahul an opener spot, which subsequently made way for Shankar to bat at the No.4 position in the matches against Afghanistan and West Indies.


“When you join the Indian team, it’s very clear. I know for a fact that if I play, I will go in at No four if there is an early wicket. If not, I will have to be flexible enough. I think that was very clear,” the 29-year-old added.

However, after playing three games in the global showpiece event, Shankar injured his toe while preparing for the contest against England. Though, Shankar recovered after a few months but still, he hasn’t picked for the Indian team. Shankar was recently seen in India A squad which toured New Zealand earlier this year. Despite all this, Shankar is hopeful that soon he’ll get his Test cap.

“I have been working on all aspects of the game and formats. I have been doing well consistently for India A, so all that actually gave me this call-up. If I had my Test debut, it would have been memorable, but nothing’s over. I just keep trying to do my best to get my Test cap,” Shankar added further.


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