All-rounder Vijay Shankar has effectively returned to contention for a berth in India‘s T20 World Cup squad in Australia later this year after a recall to the A squad.
Shankar is currently with India A in New Zealand and, later this year, will play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. Bet365 have Hyderabad priced at 5.00 to win the 2020 IPL.
He played the last of 12 ODIs and nine T20Is in June 2019, but has since returned from injury to push for a recall to the limited-overs squads.
“Coming back from an injury has always been a tough thing for me because I've always had some setbacks, which has kept me out for a while,” Vijay told ESPNcricinfo.
“Being out of action is very disturbing and irritating at times, but what has happened has happened and it's going to be a fresh start.
“I kept training hard, which kept me going. I travelled with the Tamil Nadu team to Jaipur even when I wasn't playing. By watching the game also you can learn. When I started batting, I wanted to implement that in my game and definitely, yes, I've been batting well and bowling well after those injuries.”
The 28-year-old right-hander struck 58 against a New Zealand XI in Lincoln recently, outscoring the talented Mayank Agarwal, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill and others.
“In whatever other opportunities I got I have done well, I just need to adapt to the situation and condition and deliver what the team needs. I need to take up responsibility and deliver at that particular moment. That will give me more satisfaction. Scoring 100 or 150 matters, but playing tough situations at some point is also important,” he added.
Shankar in the IPL
Shankar has been working with personal coach S Balaji ahead of the 2020 IPL, eager to impress in a Hyderabad squad that will also feature the homegrown Manish Pandey and international recruits such as Australians David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.
“Last year during IPL, he tried to hit the ball straight and over the leg side. We're looking more at the off side now, behind point and over covers, where there are vacant areas. If you hit straight, there're always two fielders to stop the ball if you can't clear the rope. Sixes can come later on, you need to build the innings – maybe start at a strike rate of 80 and then move to 150 in T20s – and we're working on that,” added Balaji.