I was ready for the challenge: Shankar

I was ready for the challenge: Shankar

India's Vijay Shankar celebrates after dismissing of Australia's Marcus Stoinis in their second ODI in Nagpur on Tuesday. PTI

Vijay Shankar, who bowled an exceptional final over in the second ODI against Australia where he dismissed the set batsman Marcus Stoinis off the first ball before sealing an eight-run win by castling Adam Zampa, said he was mentally prepared for the challenge.

“I was just ready for the challenge because I knew I had to bowl that one over,” said a delighted Shankar at the post-match press conference on Tuesday night. “And I was just telling after the 43rd-44th over, I’m going to bowl anytime. Maybe the last over and I should be ready to defend a total of 10 runs or 15 runs. So, I think basically I was mentally prepared for that.”

All-rounder Shankar has so far given a decent account of his talent with the bat but struggled to make a similar impact with the ball. Even in this game, he was taken off after his first over because he conceded three boundaries only to redeem himself with a sensational final over under pressure. Shankar said the team management will now have more confidence in handing him the ball.

“Sometimes, in the last two games that I played, I might not have bowled much, I might have gone for runs in the overs that I bowled. Last over was much-needed for me. To defend that (total), will give the team also some confidence that I can do it. That is something which is important. As I said, just because I was prepared, I think, I was able to deliver what the team needed. Only when I start doing it, the team will start trusting me and I’ll start bowling a lot more. It’s all in my hands. I need to keep delivering whenever I get the ball.”

Shankar said the disappointment of Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh, where he struggled to put bat to ball in a painful 19-ball 17 that almost cost India the title, has taught him to stay level-headed. “Actually, to be honest, the Nidahas Trophy has taught me too many things. I learnt to stay neutral after that. Be it high or low, it doesn’t matter. I need to stay calm and neutral all the time. I’ve told previously also that I never think about the selection or World Cup because it’s a long way off from now and we have too many matches to play after this. Every game is very important. I just look to give my best and win a game for the team.”