Vijay Shankar: In the end, we were just one hit away

Updated: Feb 11, 2019, 08:46 IST | PTI

Vijay Shankar batted at number three in two of three T20Is against New Zealand, scoring 43 off 28 balls in the final game and 23 in the series opener

Vijay Shankar: In the end, we were just one hit away
India's Vijay Shankar (R) plays a shot watched by New Zealand's Tim Seifert (L) during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton on February 10, 2019. Pic/AFP

India all-rounder Vijay Shankar yesterday said that being promoted to bat at the crucial No. 3 position came as a big surprise to him and he returns home from the maiden tour of Australia and New Zealand as a much improved cricketer.

Shankar batted at number three in two of three T20Is against New Zealand, scoring 43 off 28 balls in the final game and 23 in the series opener. He made his ODI debut against Australia at Melbourne and featured in three out of five ODIs and all three T20Is against the Black Caps. He gave a good account of his all-round abilities. It was a big surprise for me when they asked me to bat at three.

That is a big thing. I was focussed on playing the situation. You need to be open anyway if you are playing for a team like India," said Shankar, 28, after his team's four-run loss yesterday.

"These [Australia and New Zealand] two series, I have learnt a lot. I might not have bowled a lot but I learnt to bowl in different conditions. In batting, just watching seniors like Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma) and (MS) Dhoni, how they go about their job, I learnt a lot."

Speaking of yesterday's loss, he said: "We played well right through the 20 overs. Everyone was very positive when we were trying get closer to the total. Eventually we were just one hit away. The result could have been different on another day."

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