Vijay Shankar hails from Tamil Nadu  © PTI
Vijay Shankar hails from Tamil Nadu © PTI

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s IPL 2016 win was built around a balanced team, playing to strengths and trust. This meant there were few Indian players who missed out on opportunities to feature in the playing XI. One of them was Vijay Shankar. But despite sitting on the bench for the whole season, Shankar wasn’t disappointed. The 25 year old rather focussed on appreciating the big names in the team. SRH won their maiden IPL title beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs in the final. A team which was discarded off at the start of the campaign, brilliant leadership from David Warner and consistently good bowling reaped them benefits. ALSO READ: SRH’s IPL 2016 win was built around squad balance

Speaking to Times of India, Shankar spoke of his excitement being with such big names. “To be sharing the dressing room with star cricketers such as Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan and legends such as VVS Laxman, Muttiah Muralitharan among others was something to cherish for me. I learnt a lot by being around with them.”

He also spoke about the feeling of winning the illustrious IPL title. “It was a special moment for all of us. Before the game started, Warner had emphasised on the importance of giving it our best shot and that’s what the team did. Despite Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli going great guns, the belief Warner had in the side was outstanding. He didn’t panic, kept shuffling the bowlers and once we began picking wickets – the fortune tilted in our favour.” ALSO READ: SRH in IPL 2016, Review: Marks out of 10

Shankar also praised the Australian duo Warner and Moises Henriques for their hard work. “I think there are two significant things I learnt by being part of the SRH squad during this season. Firstly, the way someone like Warner or Moises Henriques gears up for a game is just phenomenal. They always keep up the intensity before a game, and that’s what helps them to up the ante during the course of the contest. Secondly, the emphasis on fitness is extremely high. To have success in all formats of the game, one needs to not only work on his skill-set but also on the fitness levels.”

Finally, he spoke about taking his opportunities playing for Vijay CC. “I got out early in the first game against ICF on Tuesday. So, when I walked in to take strike on Wednesday, I wanted to make amends. The thing about good players is that they never let go of opportunities. If I want to be a good cricketer, then I should look to make every chance count. That’s what I did and I am happy to have pulled it off.”