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Rahul Dravid told me I have shots and temperament to be a finisher: Vijay Shankar

Vijay Shankar has revealed he lost confidence after playing a scratchy innings in the final of Nidahas Trophy but speaking to Rahul Dravid helped put him at ease.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar (AFP Photo)

India allrounder Vijay Shankar has revealed he lost confidence after playing a scratchy innings in the final of Nidahas T20 Tri-series last year but speaking to Rahul Dravid helped put him at ease.

During the final of the tri-series against Bangladesh, Dinesh Karthik sealed a nerve-shredding win with a last-ball six. However, Shankar, a rookie, struggled to score quickly hitting 17 off 19.

Recounting his first encounter with the legendary batsman, Shankar said he wanted to impress Dravid with whom he was batting during a club match.

In his efforts, he ended up playing extravagant shots but Dravid advised him to calm down. “The first time I met Rahul sir was before a TNCA club match (for Vijay CC) in Chennai in 2012, he was then my idol and I was so nervous that I literally froze in the dressing room,” Shankar told The Indian Express.

“Two days later, we were batting together in the middle and like all youngsters I wanted to impress him. So I played a couple of extravagant strokes, and he immediately advised me: ‘We have plenty of time, so pace your innings and I want you to finish the innings.’”

Shankar travelled with India A squad for a tour of New Zealand where in the first unofficial ODI, he played a match-winning knock of 87 not out as the tourists overhauled the target of 309 in 49 overs.

However, his confidence had taken a hit post the Bangladesh final but Dravid helped him work through it.

“I had lost a bit of confidence batting in limited-over matches, after the Nidahas Trophy final. But he [Dravid] put me at ease, told me that I have the shots and temperament to be a finisher. And he told me that he’ll send me at No 5, which he did in the first match [vs New Zealand A], when we were chasing around 300,” Shankar said.

He further added, “I scored an unbeaten 87 and we won the match. The innings really cleared the self-doubts, and in the next match I scored a 59 in another chase of 300. Now I’m very confident about my batting in limited-over matches. I have better situational awareness and clarity of mind.”

Following his decent performances. Shankar managed to keep his place in the upcoming limited-overs series against Australia at home which has strengthened his chances of making a cut for the ICC World Cup 2019.

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