Vijay Shankar finally shrugs off the ghosts of Nidahas Final

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Vijay Shankar finally shrugs off the ghosts of Nidahas Final

05 Feb 2019 079 Views Yash Mittal

vijay shankar wellington odi 45

Seaming conditions. Its best exponent going around these days is breathing fire. He had just destroyed your batting line-up in the last game. The ghosts of that collapse are threatening to hover. Boult charges in and knocks over the veteran MS Dhoni with a booming inswinger; your team slips further.

They are now in dire straits at 4-18 and the possibility of those dreaded memories are threatening to become a reality; you have some demons of your own. This is the situation that Vijay Shankar found himself walking in at Wellington.

For Shankar, apart from the conditions, he had a mental battle to overcome. The last time he found himself batting for India was in the Nidahas Trophy Final. While the game is remembered for the renaissance of Dinesh Karthik, who played a whirlwind inning [28 off 9 balls] to take India past the finishing line, watching on the non-striker's end was a relieved Vijay Shankar.

vijay shankar nidahas final

T20 Cricket can be brutal. One innings can enhance or ruin your reputation. Ask Vijay Shankar. He was experiencing the latter when Dinesh Karthik walked-in with India requiring 35 more runs of the last 12 balls. It just wasn't Shankar's night. He was having a fairly decent tournament prior to the finals but the night when it mattered, the pressure got to Shankar as he played an innings [19-ball 17] devoid of any momentum and it took a stunning assault from Dinesh Karthik to save him from the blemishes.

But while everyone was rejoicing Karthik's heroics, Shankar was disheartened at how one bad inning overshadowed an overall good debut tournament.

vijay shankar nidahas final

"When everyone was rejoicing after the final, I was feeling very disheartened at how things panned out. It was an opportunity given to me to become a hero. I should have finished the match," he said.

"My parents and close friends didn't say anything as they knew what I was going through. But I get these text messages like 'don't worry about what's being said on social media' when I actually I want to move on. They perhaps think that's the way to show sympathy but it may not work," the all-rounder told PTI in an interview

"I need to accept that these are things that can happen when you play for India. The same social media would have gone berserk had I won the match all by myself." Shankar said in the aftermath of the final."

vijay shankar

But, as they say, adversity brings out a beast in you. Boult charged in, aiming for Shankar's stumps, erred in line a bit, only for the right-hander to whip it off his legs nonchalantly to deep mid-wicket. This was Shankar 2.0 with a calm demeanour who was ready than ever to soak in the pressure. On a spicy pitch, Shankar looked the most assured of all the Indian batsman. His assurance and calmness at the crease soaked pressure off Rayudu, helping him to settle in rhythm to score a match-winning 90 after a rather scratchy start.

"I need to accept that these are things that can happen when you play for India. The same social media would have gone berserk had I won the match all by myself." Shankar said in the aftermath of the final."

The 45 that Shankar scored could have been a lot more but for the unfortunate run-out. But, sometimes numbers don't tell the entire story. Those 45 runs not only helped India out of a precarious situation but also helped Shankar to shrug off whatever demons that still remained of that fateful night; as for the social media that the all-rounder alluded to post the final, they vindicated his statement by going berserk in the adulation of his calmness that paved the way for India's fourth win in the ODI series.

 

Yash Mittal

Bharat Army Cricket Writer

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