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'3D' Shankar's all-round show in vain

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Chennai, April 18 (IANS) All-rounder Vijay Shankar who has been forgotten after he was dropped from the India side following the 2019 World Cup, came into focus again after his two wickets stalled Mumbai Indians (MI) in their tracks following a flying start on Saturday night.

Shankar, after his 2/19 in three overs, later hit a 25-ball 28 to keep his Indian Premier League (IPL) side SunRisers Hyderabad in the hunt before the asking rate got to him and he fell.

Shankar had earlier in Saturday night’s match taken two quick wickets — of MI skipper Rohit Sharma (32) and Suryakumar Yadav (10) — to put the brakes on MI run-rate after Rohit and Quinton de Kock had added 55 runs for the opening wicket in just over six overs.

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“I just tried to take the pace off. With the new ball, it was coming on nicely to the bat, we just had a plan of taking the pace off as much as we can. There was good pace and it was also sitting up nicely when we were bowling at normal speed,” said Shankar after the innings.

The right-arm medium pacer got Sharma caught at deep mid-wicket as the batsmen couldn’t time the slower one.

He followed it up with the wicket of Yadav, who chipped another slower ball back to him.

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“The change-ups worked a lot,” said Shankar.

The all-rounder, who was a surprise inclusion in the Indian team as the No. 4 batsman for the 50-over World Cup ahead of Ambati Rayudu who got disgruntled with the decision, was discarded soon after. Rayudu took a dig at national selector MSK Prasad, who had called Shankar a three-dimensional player to justify his inclusion in the World Cup squad ahead of Rayudu.

Rayudu took to twitter back then to take a dig at Prasad, tweeting, “Just ordered a new set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup.”

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While Rayudu could never make it back to India team again, Shankar also hasn’t played a single international since the 2019 50-over World Cup.

Shankar featured in just seven matches in the 2020 IPL season, aggregating 97 runs and taking four wickets.

Although he has played all the three games this season, this was his first notable performance.

–IANS

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