New Delhi, March 20: The Nidahas Trophy 2018 will be etched into the memories of Indian fans for the performance of two Tamil Nadu cricketers i.e. Dinesh Karthik and Washinton Sundar.
Dinesh won the Man of the Match for his explosive cameo of 8-ball 29 and that winning six on the final delivery of the innings that ensured India prevailed over Bangladesh in the final to lift the trophy. While 18-year-old Washington was the find of the tournament for India and was awarded the Man of the series for his stellar show.
Vijay Shankar was the third player from the state who, until the final, had a decent outing but he will be remembered by fans for his slow batting in the slog overs of the final which according to many could have cost the Men In Blue badly.
Vijay was promoted up in the batting order as India were chasing a competitive total 167 in the T20I game. It was the first occasion when the all-rounder was batting in an international game and runs weren't coming easily as Bangladeshi bowlers had applied the brake on the flow of runs.
Thankfully, it was a masterclass from the wicketkeeper-batsman that took his team home safely and saved Vijay from coming under fire. Else an army of hurt Indian cricket fans would have taken to Twitter to hold him solely responsible for India's defeat in the final.
In an interview to Times of India, Vijay Shankar revealed that he's disappointed after failing to deliver with the bat despite having prepared for such a tense situation.
"I'm still disappointed about the five misses, disappointed that I couldn't finish it in those last two balls having struck a crucial four in the third ball of the last over. At that level, you rarely get such a chance in your first knock. If I had hit a six, things would have been different. I was more disappointed with the fact that I had prepared hard for such a situation all along but couldn't deliver," Shankar was quoted by TOI as saying.
After Manish Pandey's dismissal on the final delivery of the 18th over, in which Vijay had played four dot balls off Mustafizur Rahman and pressure shifted on the young batsman and the new-man-in Karthik as 34 runs were required from 12 deliveries. He has seen Mustafizur bowl in the nets during their IPL days for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"It's a different thing to see Mustafizur in nets and face him in the match. On another day, I wouldn't have missed those balls in such a situation. I wouldn't attribute it to pressure factor but I think maybe it wasn't my day.
"Obviously, after missing the first three balls I was stiff thinking 'I haven't connected three on the trot'. In hindsight, I would say I should have tapped and run a single. Yet, I still scored a boundary in the final over. But the fact that I stood there till the end gave me a different experience. Having endured such an experience in my first match, I think it will keep me in good stead in the future," he added.
Shankar, however, received words of consolation from the senior players in the dressing room.
"Everyone patted me on the back and consoled me. Most of the players told me that I wasn't the first one to undergo such an experience and motivated me," he added.
Some fans even tried to troll the cricketer for the way he batted in the final but there were also those who felt he'll get better with experience.
Come on Vijay Shankar you are future star All the best your Ipl Matches pic.twitter.com/zaPb4weNd4— Murugan (@Murugan31688238) March 19, 2018
This is ur first international final match and v can feel the pressure u were in. Hope u come back harder in upcoming matches..— Sarath Kumar (@sarath23124) March 19, 2018
Even In an IPL match the 18th over of Sunil Narien bowled a maiden over while bowling to DJ Bravo. Msd was in the other side. It can happen to anyone..all about handling the pressure.. You will come good in future..you have done well in the series...— dillip kumar sahoo (@dilesh1987) March 20, 2018
U might get few more chance in India team and Dinesh Kartik saved Ur place. Had it not been him. This was Ur last match in Ur career— Ansuman Samantaray (@ansuman0604) March 20, 2018