Vijay Shankar held his nerves as India sealed an eight-run win in the second ODI against Australia on Thursday in Nagpur.
India, who were put in to bat, were restricted to 250 despite skipper Virat Kohli’s 116-run knock on a difficult pitch.
While the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni did not enjoy a good evening with the bat, Vijay Shankar impressed one and all with his 41-ball 46-run knock before he was run-out in a rather unfortunate manner. Throughout his stay in the middle, the Tamil Nadu allrounder seemed at ease.
If his batting was impressive, so was his final-over performance in the ball when Australia needed 11 runs to win, with the big-hitting Marcus Stoinis still in the middle. Vijay conceded just three runs in the final over and dismissed Stonis and Adam Zampa.
With his performance, he has pretty much sealed his spot in India’s squad for 2019 Cricket World Cup. However, the man himself, played down the World Cup talks, saying, “I’ve said previously also that I never think about the selection or World Cup thing because it’s a long way off from now. Every game is very important. I just look to give my best and win a game for the team.”
Talking about his final over performance, he said: “I was just ready for the challenge because I knew I had to bowl that one over. And I was just telling (myself) after the 43rd-44th over, I am going to bowl anytime. Maybe the last over and I should be ready to defend a total of 10 runs or 15 runs. So, I was mentally prepared for that.”
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