Teams Played For
India, Tamil Nadu, Chennai Super Kings, Rest of India, India A, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Lyca Kovai Kings, South Zone, India Blue, Delhi Capitals, Chepauk Super Gillies, India B, India C
Even if Vijay Shankar excels at the international level in the near future, he will be remembered for his surprising national call-up for the 2019 World Cup at the expense of a much experienced Ambati Rayudu. Shankar was picked as the No 4 batsman in the tournament and the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad credited his 3-dimensional abilities behind the decision. The decision didn’t go down too well with critics and experts as they lashed out at the team management for taking a surprising decision. Relatively low returns for Shankar didn’t help his cause and eventually, he was ruled out of the latter part of the tournament after sustaining an injury.
Despite the controversy surrounding his selection in the World Cup, Vijay Shankar is an impressive all-around player. He has been a consistent performer for Tamil Nadu ever since making his first-class debut back in 2012. A late bloomer as per India standards, Shankar made his international debut in a T20I match against Sri Lanka in 2018.
It was in the ODI series in New Zealand ahead of the 2019 World Cup Shankar first made the headlines with his effortless hitting and dribbly dobby medium pace. Despite Rayudu being the No 4 for a year heading to the World Cup, Shankar was picked as the No 4 owing to his all-round abilities. Shankar made a sensational World Cup debut when he dismissed Imam ul Haq in his very first delivery of the competition. However, his joy was short-lived as a string of low scores and wicketless performances followed.
He has been in and around the Indian selection radar but with the abundance of talent in the domestic circuit, it will be tough for him to again make a comeback in the national foray.
Shankar has the ability to play different molds. He has a strong technique and can also smash the long ball. After his first-class debut in 2013, it took him some time to establish himself in the circuit. However, by 2015, he became one of the most consistent performers for Tamil Nadu. Shankar had a sensational time with the bat in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 season amassing 577 runs at an average of 57. It included two centuries and two half-centuries in the knockout stage.
Following an impressive season, Shankar was awarded an India A call-up. Shankar was resolute in defense and looked in good touch against the likes of Sean Abbott, Gurinder Sandhu, Steve O’ Keefe, and Andrew Fekete. He yet again proved his all-round skills against South Africa A.
Unlike most of the young kids in India, Shankar started off cricket in his late teens. He sharpened his cricketing skills at his terrace which later turned into a make-shift indoor net where he practiced with his father and brother who had earlier played lower-division cricket in Tamil Nadu. Starting off his career as a part-time off-spinner, Shankar turned to medium pace owing to a spin-heavy Tamil Nadu side.
He eventually made his first-class debut aged 21 and made a 63 in his debut. Shankar was bought by the Chennai Super Kings in the 2015 IPL. However, he warmed the benches for the majority of the tournament and was subsequently acquired by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. After being sidelined for almost 2 years, Shankar finally earned his spot in the playing XI in 2018 where he proved to be a heavy hitter lower down the order. He played a total of 35 matches in the last three seasons for the Men in Orange and although his bowling has been inconsistent, Shankar’s ability to clear the ropes effortlessly has earned him a place in the Sunriser’s squad.
(As of March 2021)