The former India captain, Sunil Gavaskar has said Vijay Shankar has a chance for the 2019 World Cup in England. Meanwhile, Vijay replaced Hardik Pandya on tour to Australia, as Pandya and KL faced suspensions over their remarks on the famous TV show, Koffee with Karan. Though Pandya returned during New Zealand ODIs, Shankar had shown maturity in his game too; even Gavaskar believes the Tamil Nadu player can read and understand the game situation well.
You need an extra seamer in England – Gavaskar
In the presence of Hardik Pandya in the squad, Vijay’s game has got benefited. Meanwhile, in the first T20I in Wellington, he batted at one drop and scored an 18-ball 27. India though lost the game by 80 runs, Shankar’s innings didn’t go unnoticed. Not only this but even in the fifth ODI at the same venue, he played a handy knock of 45 runs and added 98 with Ambati Rayudu; after India got reduced to 18 for four at one stage.
Sunil Gavaskar, who followed his game from closed quarters added India would need his services in England. He noted with two seam-bowling all-rounders at the mega event, Virat will have more options under his sleeves. Moreover, Shankar has experience of leading a team in the domestic circuit; his experience could well come into play.
“Vijay Shankar has a chance for the World Cup. You need an extra seamer in England. He is a good all-round fielder too. He showed in the ODI (5th ODI in Wellington) where he got the team out of trouble with the bat. He read the game situation well with his experience of having led in domestic cricket. You build hopes on a player who reads match situations well. He should also be under consideration,” he told India Today.
Give Shankar more games – Sunil
Vijay Shankar has been identified as a better batsman than a decent bowler. Though he has technique and shoulders to hit the ball far if needed; the only thing which could go against him is his bowling. Vijay is a bit slower and doesn’t have a lethal bouncer to trouble a batsman.
However, Gavaskar said if the selectors are looking at Shankar in the World Cup squad, they need to give him more games.
“I think he should be playing all the three T20 games. Give him games after games and you would know if he has what it takes. Because if there is a situation that even after the five ODIs vs Australia, we don’t find a fourth fast bowler we can rely on, then we should be open to having Hardik Pandya as the fourth seamer in the squad and Vijay Shankar as an additional option,” Gavaskar concluded.
Meanwhile, India will take on New Zealand in the second T20I at the Eden Park, Auckland on Friday (February 8th).