Virat Kohli has heaped huge and showed faith in the newcomer to the Indian side Vijay Shankar. Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and fast bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar were released from India squad after they opted out citing personal reasons.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will not take part in the remainder of the test series while Dhawan is available for 3rd test at Delhi. Vijay Shankar was named as a replacement.
“Well, he (Shankar) has been very consistent and has earned his spot. We wanted to have a look at another all-rounder keeping in mind this aspect (batsman who bowls medium pace) of the team going forward,” Kohli told ANI when asked about his take on Shankar
“Obviously, Hardik is in our scheme of things as a first all-rounder but we need to find out more people with that kind of ability whom we can groom and make as backups for all- rounder’s spot when we travel abroad.”
“The whole mindset of bringing him and keeping him in the set-up is to make him familiar with whats going on here and so that he understands what all he needs to work on his game as well,” Kohli further added.
Kohli is hoping Shankar could give him few handy overs with the ball. “He is a pretty balanced cricketer. Pretty composed, great fielder, handy with the ball and can easily give you 10-12 overs a day. He is very solid with the bat of what I saw at the nets today. So big moment for him, he has earned it as I said.” he added.
He also mentioned that Indian team is short of time when it comes to preparation for South Africa tour. “We are cramped for a time which we need to assess in future as well as everyone assesses the team when we go abroad but don’t see how many days we get to prepare. We get only 2 days before we fly to South Africa after this series, we have no choice but to be in the game situation. Had we got a month off, we would have done proper preparation, but right now we need to make do with what we have,” Virat Kohli said in Nagpur
Born on January 26, 1991, in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, Shankar made his First-Class debut in 2012. He came into limelight when he scored 111 off 82 balls in 2014-15 Ranji quarter-final against Vidarbha. In IPL he has been part of Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
So far, his First-Class figures read 1671 runs from 32 matches at an average of 49 with 5 hundred. He also has picked up 27 wickets. It’s still early days in his career and the young man has a long way to go.