Vijay Shankar, Indian all-rounder, recently opened up about his experience of facing arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup, recalling an incident where some Pakistani fans hurled abuses at him and his fellow teammates on the eve of the marquee encounter.
Vijay Shankar was drafted into the playing XI after Shikhar Dhawan got ruled out of the World Cup after suffering a fracture during his match-winning hundred against Australia.
Shankar recalled how the team-management revealed to him that he’ll be playing in the marquee Indo-Pak encounter.
“So one day before the game, they told me, be prepared, you’ll be playing. And I was like, ‘OK.’” Vijay Shankar said on The Bharat Army’s podcast.
‘A Pakistan fan came up to us and he was literally abusing us’- Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar was a part of the group of Indian players who were abused by a section of Pakistani fans on the eve of the high-voltage encounter.
“Few of us players had gone out for coffee one day before the game, when a Pakistan fan came up to us and he was literally abusing us. So that was my first experience of an India-Pakistan game,” Vijay Shankar recalled.
“We just had to take it. He was abusing us and recording everything, so we couldn’t react. All we could do was sit and watch what he was doing.” he added.
The Tamil Nadu revealed how Dinesh Karthik helped him cope with the mounting pressure ahead of the game.
“It’s very hard for me to sit in a room and do nothing. I want to go out for a coffee and all and I had Dinesh Karthik with me. So the two of us would go out for coffee. We used to have some fun, which is very important, I feel, because the pressure is very high. So we just have to give some time to ourselves, ease out and chill,” Shankar.
On his World Cup debut, Vijay Shankar struck off his very first ball to give India an early breakthrough against Pakistan. ?
— ICC (@ICC) June 17, 2019
Vijay Shankar went on to have a game to remember. Besides scoring 15 valuable runs with the bat, he chipped in with two wickets, including the crucial wicket of opener Imam Ul Haq on the very first ball of his World Cup career.