Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar celebrates the dismissal of Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq during the match at Old Trafford in Manchester. Image Credit: AP

Manchester: It has been a dream start for Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Lady luck seems to be shining on him right from the time he was given the opportunity to get into the playing XI against Pakistan due to injury to opener Shikhar Dhawan.

During the match, the Chennai boy was called in to complete Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s over who retired with an injury, and off his very first ball, he picked up a wicket and went on to add another one too!

Asked about the dream start, he said: “I was completely blank since I wasn’t expecting to be given a chance to bowl at that time. When I think of it now, maybe that worked better for me. The ball was swinging a bit, so I thought I should hit the right areas. Getting a wicket off your first ball is always special for any cricketer.”

Shankar revealed that nothing can be more satisfying than to be able to play your first match of the World Cup against Pakistan. “It has been a very satisfying match for me. Playing against Pakistan and that too on a World Cup debut is something that is great for me. I just wanted to enjoy the moment because we rarely get such opportunities. World Cups come once in four years, and the whole world will be watching this game.”

When asked how the last six months played out for him, he said: “I’ve always given a lot of importance to the preparation. I believe in working very hard to keep myself really fit and continue improving my game. That’s the only thing I look at in my practise sessions. And if at the end of the practice sessions I feel satisfied, it means I’ve got something good from the sessions.”

Does he feel that he has arrived and settled in the team? “I definitely don’t see anything like that. Every practise session is important, and one cannot take anything for granted. It is important for me to continue doing the same things that got me here. If I can carry on and improve on it, then I will be happy. I need to get even better as a cricketer.”