New Delhi, May 16: India all-rounder Vijay Shankar's inclusion in Team India's 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 came as a surprise to many when the Tamil Nadu cricketer was picked over team's preferred No.4 choice Ambati Rayudu.
After his World Cup selection, the 28-year-old was under scrutiny for his performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 for the domestic T20 league is the only match practice World Cup-bound Indian cricketers will get.
Shankar, however, had a forgettable outing for debut season with his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. The right-handed batsman and medium pacer from Tamil Nadu was part of Delhi Daredevils, now Delhi Capitals, until last year.
Shankar isn't disappointed with his outing in the IPL and believes his good form in the international cricket will keep him in good stead at the marquee event in England. The all-rounder, who was picked up for his three-dimensional skills, also feels that the team management's belief in him will help him do well in the quadrennial cricketing event.
Shankar, in an interview with IANS, said, "I had a decent run when I batted at No.3 in the T20 series in New Zealand. The most important thing is that the team management has shown trust in me and believes I can do the job. That gives you extra motivation. The need of the team is my priority and I am always ready to adapt to situations and conditions."
"I am enjoying myself and don't put any pressure on myself. I like to read the situation and play accordingly. I give importance to work ethics and there is no shortcut."
The cricketer also revealed how the criticism in the final of the Nidahas Trophy in 2018 proved to be a life-changing experience for him and how one should enjoy the game on the field and not put too much of pressure on himself.
"I would definitely say the Nidahas Trophy was a life-changing experience as a cricketer for me. It has been a year and everyone knows what happened and how difficult it was," Vijay stated. "I would have easily attended 50 phone calls from all over India. The press people kept calling me and asked me the same question. Even the social media and all was a little difficult for me, I felt a little disappointed and took me some time to get out of that zone.
"But on the hindsight, it taught me how to come out of that, learned how to handle situations. That incident showed me that one bad day isn't the end of the world. It hasn't happened only to me, has happened to many top players over the years.
"The best thing is that it happened on my first outing with the bat. I had bowled in the series, but that was the first time I went in to bat. I didn't realise what happened right then, but that was a life lesson. It taught me to enjoy every moment as things as such episodes are temporary and I must focus on giving my 100 per cent."
Talking about his role in the current Indian side, the cricketer - who made his ODI debut in January against Australia, said he's learning from the senior players in the dressing room.
Shankar added further, "First of all to be a part of the Indian team is something we all dream about when we start playing. I am someone who looks to imbibe things from Kohli, Mahi bhai or Rohit. I always believe in watching and learning from them. I have interacted with them to help me improve as a cricketer. They have told me that I am doing my job and the focus should be on keeping things simple."
On comparisons with team's number one all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Shankar said he's working on his bowling.
"I have been working a lot on my bowling and I am someone who believes in keeping the process right. I feel that if the situation arises when the skipper hands me the ball, I should be confident that I can do the job and only then will that translate into performance. It is all about gaining in confidence with every given opportunity," he said.