Do you know how a former India cricketer changed the career of Vijay Shankar?

Internet Desk: Tamil Nadu cricketer Vijay Shankar, who was recently rewarded with the maiden call up in the Indian test side credited former India cricketer Rahul Dravid for a change on his fortunes. The 26 year old cricketer replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took a break due to his marriage.

It was during 2012, Dravid after retiring from international cricket was still playing club cricket. He was then playing for India Cements in the Tamil Nadu League. Shankar was first selected to represent the club owned by former BCCI President N Srinivasan. It was during one of the league matches when he was batting alongside Dravid, got a valuable tips that changed his life as a cricketer.

Talking to xtratime.in from his residence in Tirunelveli, Shankar revealed, “I was batting with him in one of the club matches. We lost a few early wickets. I was playing in my own style, not dared to take some risky shots. I still remember after playing a risky shot, he (Dravid) Sir walked up to me and scolded me. He was very excited and reminded me to build my innings first. He told me if I wanted to make it big in my career, I must first learn how to build an innings. I still remember those words which worked wonders in my progress so far.”

Dravid is someone who has played alongside Vijay Shankar for Vijay CC in the Tamil Nadu first division league, and he also coached him when he was part of the India A team. It is even more special for the all-rounder to be associated with the former Indian skipper as he is someone who Vijay has looked up to since his childhood.

Shankar got the news of his selection in the team while he was playing a Ranji match against Madhya Pradesh at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

“I got a call my chairman of the selection committee Mr MSK Prasad. He asked me to be prepared for the test call up,” said Vijay.

On being asked about his selection in the test team, Vijay said, “I was always confident of getting a call up, considering the form I was going through. But to get the test call so early, I was a bit surprised. I always dreamt of playing for the country.”

Good thing for Vijay, Dravid was the coach of the India A squad when he was selected. His performance in the 2014-15 domestic season earned him a India A call up. He scored a half century in the first match. His knock of 72 in the final of the Tri Series against South Africa A was crucial in helping India A lift the trophy.

On being asked about Dravid’s role in his career, Vijay said, “The experience cannot be expressed in words. He always comes forward to help the juniors. I remember how he hugged me on meeting me few days back.”

The biggest advantage for Vijay is he can bowl medium pace as well. The 26 year old cricketer would like to thank the physio at NCA after he had a career threatening injury.

According to Vijay’s father, H Shankar, “His career was threatening after he got an injury in 2016. But the physio’s at NCA worked constantly with him to get him back on the cricket field. We will remain grateful to NCA.”



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