IPL 2020: Knock it off, Vijay Shankar!
SRH all-rounder Shankar's coach S Balaji disappointed with ward's poor show at IPL-13; calls for some technical changes in his batting to turn things around
Only a year ago, the MSK Prasad-led national selection committee showed faith in all-rounder Vijay Shankar, calling him a three dimensional player while picking him for the ICC ODI World Cup in England. However, while almost all the Team India players are performing well for their respective franchises in IPL-13, Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) batting all-rounder Shankar, 29, has been struggling.
Though Shankar did score an unbeaten 52 at a strike rate of 101 as SRH chased down Rajasthan Royals' 154 to win by eight wickets in Dubai on Thursday, he's had poor run before that, having scored just 19 runs in the previous four games.
In his first IPL appearance this season against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the right-handed batsman failed to read leggie Yuzvendra Chahal's googly and was out without scoring. While attempting a drive, the ball sneaked through the big gap in bat and pad and shattered the middle stump. The right-arm medium pacer picked up a solitary wicket in this losing fixture, conceding 14 runs in eight balls. In his second outing versus RR, Shankar did not get a chance to bat and returned without a wicket (0-22) from three overs. In another losing cause, this time against Chennai Super Kings, Shankar scored 12 off seven balls, getting out caught at deep backward point by Ravindra Jadeja off medium pacer Dwayne Bravo's full and wide delivery. Shankar got a chance to bowl his full quota of four overs against Kolkata Knight Riders thereafter where he picked up one for 20. However, his batting struggles continued as he miscued a pull shot off pacer Pat Cummins and was caught by Shubman Gill at backward point after scoring seven off 10.
Shankar's coach S Balaji is obviously disappointed with his ward's performance. "He is working on his batting, that's what he told me [on Tuesday] when we had a chat regarding the way forward. You can't bring back the old innings. You have to plan for tomorrow. His last two innings were a bit disappointing, but these things are part of a cricketer's life. So, though I am disappointed, I'm not actually worried because I know that one or two innings in the IPL can make a huge difference to a player's confidence," Balaji told mid-day from Chennai.
Balaji, 70, who has represented Railways and Tamil Nadu as an opening batsman, wants Shankar to take risks and improve his strike rate. "He had a plan in the previous match [against KKR]. Usually, he strikes at 150 to 200, but that day he was going at a run a ball [seven off 10]. Ideally, he should have gone for it [shots] and taken the risk. These are some of the things we spoke of. Hopefully, he will change. I don't like to share technical details but there are some adjustments needed [in batting]. There are a few things that only suit him," added Balaji.
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