Has Vijay Shankar Booked his Place for the World Cup 2019?
Vijay Shankar’s life seems to have come full circle if you take into account what happened in the second ODI of the series between India and Australia. Last year in the Nidahas trophy, Shankar bore the brunt of the Indian fans when he was unable to close out the final match. Dinesh Karthik played an innings of a lifetime culminating in hitting a six off the bowling of Saumya Sarkar to lead India to a memorable win. The fact that India won and many players like Kohli and Bumrah were resting for the tournament made Indian fans happy and all ended well.
Hardik Pandya is the first choice all rounder for the Indian team and after the unfortunate incident at Koffee with Karan episode, he was suspended pending enquiry and Shankar was drafted in his place to lend balance to the Indian team. Shankar was not letting go of the opportunity this time around and grasped it with both hands. He may not be the most effective player but he has got useful runs whenever he has got the chance.
During the second ODI, he had 10 runs to defend and was bowling only his second over. He knew Stoinis had played out Bumrah and waited for him. He got him out LBW and Zampa bowled to prize out the victory for team India. But people are not giving much weight to his batting credentials. When India batted, Vijay Shankar was the only one with a strike rate of over 100. He was out in an unfortunate manner and till the time he was there, he made batting look ridiculously easy.
After his performance, it’s a given that he has booked his place in the fifteen for the World Cup and with English conditions suiting his style of bowling it may not be a surprise that he may find himself in the playing eleven also. His dibbly dobbly kind of stuff will be hard to play if there are overcast conditions at the World Cup and India is on a lookout for a batsman that can give some solidity to the middle order. Shankar at the moment is filling both the credentials.