IPL 2023: The best part for me is the confidence of the team, says Vijay Shankar on the shift in form
BENGALURU, May 22 (IANZ) Gujarat Titans’ defending champions Vijay Shankar has credited the trust bestowed on him by a franchise think tank behind his turnaround in batting performance this season.
On Sunday, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Shankar slammed a 35-ball 53, with seven fours and two sixes in an important partnership of 123 runs off 71 balls for the second wicket with Shubman Gill to help Gujarat chase down 198 by five. balls to spare.
Gujarat has acquired Shankar in the auction ahead of IPL 2022, but has been unable to make an impression in the four games he has played. But in IPL 2023, he was crucial in getting hits while scoring 287 runs in nine innings at an average of 41 and a strike rate of 161.24.
“It was just a mental shift. After realizing last year I had some injuries, I couldn’t bat, I couldn’t get a swing. Once I had the surgery I started playing home cricket and did well. So when I came to Here, the best part for me was the confidence of the team. They gave me that feeling and to come here and do that for the team feels really good,” he told Gilles in a video posted by IPL on their website.
Shankar initially struggled, making 18 off 15 balls. But he paced superbly to get another 35 runs off his last 20 balls. “I couldn’t time it right and the wicket wasn’t easy. But I knew the ball would come in and find the gap, which on this wicket was not the case, especially when bowling on the back of length. So, I thought, after facing 20 balls, I’d have to do my best.” .
Speaking of his crucial partnership with Gill, Shankar said, “I’ve been training hard with the side arm and also with the bowlers, trying to set myself up and then generate energy. It was good to have this partnership because we were discussing a lot and wanted to dig deeper into it.” And I think we’ve always been on par with the required run rate.”
“I think we’ve played two out of three rounds now, we didn’t have that great partnership but this was at a time when we needed to have that partnership and we got it and won it in the end.”
Gill at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium whizzed in with an unbeaten 104 off his 52 balls, hitting five fours and eight eights at a batting average of 200 to break the hearts of the Bangalore support on the field and steal the thunder from Virat Kohli’s hundreds. He felt that adapting quickly to conditions was key to him scoring his second consecutive IPL century.
“It feels great. In the first half of the IPL, I was throwing a lot of 40s, 50s and 60s. I wasn’t turning into those big guys. For me, it’s all about getting that big and I knew I could build on that.”
“For any batsman, it’s all about how quickly you can adapt to that state and situation and that’s what I try to do. I look at my options for scoring on a given day and the match against the bowling attack and I try to build innings around that.”
Gujarat Titans, the leaders in the league stage, will now play Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
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