Should be in the team when people trust me for my abilities: Vijay Shankar

India all-rounder Vijay Shankar talks about his fight with injuries, pushing hard every day for playing in Indian colors again. The all-rounder hasn't played for India since 2019 World Cup.

Indian and Sun Risers Hyderabad all-rounder, Vijay Shankar has been around for a while now. His constant battle with injuries doesn’t seem to end. After playing three matches for India in the 2019 World Cup, Shankar wasn’t seen in the Indian jersey thereafter.

While talking to India Today, Vijay Shankar agreed that the fight with injuries was never easy and injuries are a part and parcel of sports men’s life.

“It was very difficult, definitely. But if you ask me, from the time I got dropped from the Indian team, it was very difficult. I had another injury and then I was not even closer to getting into the Indian side after that. But if you see the time I was with the Indian team, I had a decent run. I was contributing in whatever batting order, whatever situation it was,” Shankar said.

“But on the other side, if you see, definitely injuries have played a big part in my career. I don’t see that as something which I can justify, saying I could have done better if I had been fit. I don’t think that is fair to say. Injuries are bound to happen for sportsmen.

On being asked how does he go about coping with injuries, he stressed giving his best and push harder every day.
“It’s about pushing myself harder every day. These things are part of my journey. A lot of negativity creeps in when you’re injured. ‘Whether I will be able to come back? When will I play next?’. Every time, when I have a hamstring injury, there will be a small doubt in whatever you do – ‘What if I get that back again?’.

“But I have always pushed myself harder for the best I can give. The rehab, whatever the small things I do, I will give my best because that’s the only thing I have in my control,” he added.

After the Nidahas Trophy final, Shankar faced a lot of criticism. But he didn’t lose his calm and made his way back into the Indian team. He was on a flight to England in 2019 for World Cup, played three matches before picking up a toe injury. Hardik Pandya replaced Shankar as an all-rounder and has owned that spot.

Are you thinking about an Indian re-call? to this Shankar answered –

“I can’t think of getting into the Indian side, those things are not in my hand. All I can do is prepare hard and try and do well in the matches that I play. I will try to push for that place again.

“Definitely, whoever has played for that country would love to wear that jersey again. There is no doubt about that. I just felt that when I had a decent run and I was not even considered after that, it was a little disappointing,” he added.

Hardik Pandya isn’t able to bowl because of which he didn’t bowl in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Pandya wasn’t a part of the recently picked Test squad for the World Test Championship Finals and England series thereafter.

Shankar said he doesn’t want to be in the team for filling spaces, rather he would like to in a team when people start trusting his abilities
“I don’t want to be in the team just because I am an all-rounder, someone who can bat and bowl. It should be more genuine, I should be in the team when people trust me for my abilities,”

“I have said in the past about not liking comparisons. But if you really compare, I think I definitely have done better than most. But if you ask me personally, because of all the disappointments, you can’t give up.

Shankar’s IPL journey in 2020 came to an end when he was injured – this time it was his hamstring. 2021 IPL edition was suspended mid-way because of multiple bio-bubble breaches.

Shankar told having a good support system really helps and added that striving for the best is the only thing he can do.
“I am pretty fortunate to have a good family which keeps backing me. I have good friends around. I have my personal coach, S Balaji who keeps pushing me.

“Sometimes, it happens, few players might get things a little late, but I will keep pushing for whatever things I deserve. More than this, there’s nothing much I can say. I will have to keep pushing myself for the best I can give.”

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