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Vijay Shankar wasn’t expecting to bowl against Pakistan at the time he did in the World Cup

Shankar came to bowl after Bhuvneshwar Kumar left the field due to an injury

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Vijay Shankar of India. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

The year 2019 has been quite a roller-coaster ride for Tamil Nadu batting all-rounder Vijay Shankar. The 28-year-old made his ODI debut for India after Hardik Pandya faced a temporary suspension because of a TV controversy. He then impressed in a home series against Australia and was picked as the No.4 batsman for the ICC World Cup in England and Wales replacing Ambati Rayudu -a decision by the selectors that had surprised many.

Vijay got to play three games in the showpiece event and the first one of them was against arch-rivals Pakistan in Manchester. It remained a memorable occasion for the cricketer, not with the bat but ball as he picked the wicket of opener Imam-ul-Haq with the very first ball. Vijay came to complete the over after spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar got a groin injury while bowling and his first strike left both his team-mates on the ground and the supporters in the stands ecstatic.

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The wicket came in the form of leg-before wicket and Vijay ended up with two wickets for 22 runs in that rain-curtailed game that India won comprehensively. However, Vijay’s stay in his maiden World Cup was cut short as a toe-crushing yorker from Jasprit Bumrah at the nets ruled him out after the match against the West Indies in Manchester. That has remained Vijay’s latest international game so far. Batsman Mayank Agarwal replaced him in the tournament.

Vijay was disappointed with his short stint at the World Cup

“It was a very disappointing time. Every player dreams of representing his country and so I did. It is hard to explain what I felt at that time. But then I can’t remained disappointed and depressed about it. I had to move forward,” Vijay, who was in Ranchi on Thursday to play for India ‘B’ against India ‘A’, was quoted as saying by Times of India.

Though India ‘B’ won the game by 108 runs, Vijay himself had an ordinary outing with 26 runs and no wicket. Recently, Vijay was part of the Tamil Nadu side that ended as the runners-up in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, losing to Karnataka in the final. Though he was not happy with his short stay in the World Cup, Vijay relishes his show against Pakistan. He said he didn’t expect to bowl when he was asked to in that game but thought of making use of the little swing that was on offer.

“I was very happy with my performance (against Pakistan). Standing on the field when the National Anthem was being played was a great feeling. Honestly, I was not expecting to bowl when I was handed the ball, but in such a situation, I just tried to give off my best and bowl tightly. There was a little bit of swing on offer and I wanted to make use of that,” Vijay said, adding that it was an unbelievable moment.

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