Vijay Shankar, who has made a strong case for himself to be included in India’s World Cup bound squad, feels that his biggest takeaway from the Australia and New Zealand series is learning the “art of chasing” from former captain MS Dhoni, PTI reported
Shankar had some decent performances with the bat during the New Zealand leg, and now wants to finish games like the 37-year-old.
“I was happy to be around with the seniors. Just watching them prepare for matches and learning,” Shankar said. “Moreover, I learnt a lot by watching Dhoni during run chases. I learnt a lot about how to pace an innings, especially during chases. I learnt about his mindset.”
Shankar had confessed that he was surprised when promoted up the order to no 3, said that he was specifically told by the team management before the start of the series.
“I was surprised but at the same time was very happy to be asked to bat at number three. I was told before the series started that I would bat at one-drop. In T20s, there is not much time to settle down and the approach needs to be positive.”
Though he got a few 40s, Shankar lamented that he couldn’t take the team home during the final T20I. “I thought I should have got more runs. Also, I felt disappointed that I could not take the team home in the third T20. I had the chance. It is a learning experience for me. I need to adapt faster and also be consistent...” he added.
He got an important partnership with Ambati Rayudu in Wellington ODI when India were 18/4 and he cherished batting in challenging conditions.
“When I walked in at 18/4, it was all about playing time and building a partnership [with Rayudu]. It was a good challenge as the New Zealand bowlers were bowling well. We had a good partnership. I should have gone on and made a big score...” he added.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, who has been around the India A set-up for a while before graduating to the senior side, said his focus is on constant improvement while adding that he saw every match as an opportunity to do well.
“I have done the hard work and got the opportunity in the national team. Now my focus is on constant improvement. I have to step up and do well in every match I get to play. I see each game as an opportunity to do well,” he added.
Asked about chief selector MSK Prasad’s recent remark that he was in the reckoning for a spot in the World Cup squad, the all-rounder played it down. “I don’t want to think too far ahead. I want to do well in every game. Every day is important for me...” he said.
“I still need to fine-tune a few things. I will also work with my childhood coach S Balaji, a former ICF cricketer, with whom I have worked for more than 13 years, whenever I am in Chennai,” he added.