World Cup 2019: We always look to get better, even during practice, says Vijay Shankar

Updated: Jun 22, 2019, 08:12 IST | Harit N Joshi |

There were concerns about the toe-crusher from pace ace Jasprit Bumrah that hit Vijay on Thursday but the all-rounder simply said that he was feeling better and gave no indication if he was going to play today

Vijay Shankar is all smiles during a media interaction at Southampton yesterday. Pic/PTI
Vijay Shankar is all smiles during a media interaction at Southampton yesterday. Pic/PTI

Harit N JoshiSouthampton: Before India embarked on their World Cup journey, the first four games upfront against tough teams — South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan — were viewed as crucial to Virat Kohli & Co's chances of progressing to the semi-finals. India won three [one washout] and then headed for a mini break and reassembled just a few days before their match against Afghanistan here at the Ageas Bowl today.

Relaxed atmosphere
They have had two practice sessions since and the mood in the camp seemed relaxed especially as the big challenge upfront had been conquered. However, that does not mean there will be any let up when they play Afghanistan today, said Vijay Shankar, who also indicated that there won't be any major changes in the playing XI.

"It's not about who we are playing against. I think it's about how we play as individuals. We always look to get better, even during practice sessions. That's our only motive. So, we'll just look to get better [today]. It doesn't matter who we are playing. It's just about how we play against each and every individual. It should be the same [against Afghanistan as well]," said Vijay on the eve of the match.

There were concerns about the toe-crusher from pace ace Jasprit Bumrah that hit Vijay on Thursday but the all-rounder simply said that he was feeling better and gave no indication if he was going to play today.

Also Read: World Cup 2019: Getting wickets against Pakistan gave me confidence says Vijay Shankar

Unforgettable WC debut
Vijay made his World Cup debut against Pakistan at Manchester with an unbeaten 15 and two wickets. That experience helped him settle the nerves. And now, he will look to provide some insight into tackling Afghanistan spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi after playing alongside them for Sunrisers Hyderabad during the recent Indian Premier League.

"He [Rashid] is definitely one of the best bowlers right now in limited overs, and has done well. For me, having played with him for a couple of years, it's very important for me to pick things from him. Like, whenever I bat against him in the nets, I try and pick his variations. He's a good bowler.Anyone can go for runs on any given day [referring to Rashid's figures of 0-110 off nine overs against England recently]. It's about how you come back strongly. So, for me, it's about how I play against him tomorrow. That will be the key," he concluded.

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