Indian cricketer Vijay Shankar has been in and out of the national team regularly. Though the 30-year-old got several chances, he has usually been under the pump to prove his worth. But Shankar showed his calibre in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against Mumbai Indians (MI) by scalping the wickets of their skipper Rohit Sharma and in-form batter Suryakumar Yadav. Shankar also smashed a fine 25-ball 28 in the same game.
The last time when Tamil Nadu cricketer wore the Indian jersey was during the 2019 World Cup, where he became only the third player to pick a wicket off his first ball.
However, Shankar was ruled out of the final two matches due to an injury and youngster Mayank Agarwal was named as his replacement. Shankar has missed the selectors’ radar since then.
The domestic run also hasn’t been satisfying for the Tirunelveli-born as he is open to switching sides to get more chances with the bat.
Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, in a recent interview, opined that Shankar had the experience to play big games but has succumbed to injuries that have kept him out of state cricket.
“Vijay is a fine player who has played the World Cup and has a lot of experience. He has had a lot of injuries and there is no better person to understand it (injuries) better than me. Sometimes people are not sensitive to injury,” Ashwin told The New Indian Express on Monday.
Expounding the same, the Chennai-born stated that it becomes difficult to manage injuries with age, albeit his statesman would get over them and bounce back.
“Vijay Shankar has definitely struggled, but he will find a solution and can get his injuries sorted. It doesn’t become easy to manage injuries as you grow old. Vijay is about 30-31 years old and to manage injuries when you get older is harder,” he said.
Concluding the interview, the 34-year-old suggested that his state team needed to blend Shankar’s experience with the novelty of the youngsters to get the best result out of team combinations.
“So I think we must give right roles and we must balance it with youngsters coming in and seniors. We should look for a way forward, utilise Vijay Shankar’s experience and also blend it with the youngsters. It will be good for TN cricket if we strike a good balance and give more opportunities for youngsters,” Ashwin added.