This century is significant, says Vijay Shankar

The way Vijay Shankar went on a rampage smashing the sphere to all corners of the ground during the course of his 129 against Assam in the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday, it didn’t seem he was bothered by an injury to his right thumb webbing that forced him to miss Tamil Nadu’s last two matches against Team Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
This century is significant, says Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar

Chennai

In fact, Vijay Shankar revealed after the match that he isn’t completely relieved of the pain, which makes this century all the more special. After losing two out of its four matches, this was a game the host had to win and it made a telling statement of intent right from the moment it won the toss.
“I was prepared to play even though there was still some pain. I started off slowly by playing quite a few dot balls. Initially, I couldn’t manoeuvre the ball through the gaps but I knew that once I got over that phase and stayed till the end, we could set a competitive total,” said the 27-year-old. Apart from his clean and powerful striking of the ball, another noticeable feature of his innings was how he ran like a hare between the wickets under the scorching sun. “Any total is chaseable on this ground. It’s always important to score those 10 extra runs which give us the cushion. It was extremely hot and both their spinners bowled well and to the field. It wasn’t easy to score and we had to constantly look for ones and twos whenever we failed to score boundaries,” explained Vijay Shankar, who as a result of the oppressive heat was seen cramping in the later stages of the match.
Asked about his enterprising 202-run association for the third wicket with B Indrajith, who himself has been an epitome of consistency, Vijay Shankar said the plan was to bat deep into the innings. “Indrajith and I didn’t have any particular target in mind. We knew this was a kind of wicket where the new batsman would struggle to go for his shots straightaway and hence the onus was on the set batsmen to guide the team towards a good total. I’m pleased with how Indrajith has been batting so far. He has carried forward his rich vein of form from the earlier games,” added the TN skipper.
On his own batting, Vijay Shankar said he made a conscious effort of hitting the ball straight. “The best thing I did today was to hit through the line. I was disappointed with the manner of my dismissal. I thought the ball was there to be hit. But this century has its own significance for me,” mentioned Vijay Shankar, who brought up his hundred with a six over long-off.
If there was something that took the gloss off this win for the host, it was that of all-rounder V Yo Mahesh suffering a knee injury that caused him to leave the field. Yo Mahesh looked in considerable pain while hobbling off the ground and the extent of his injury is yet to be ascertained.

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