CHENNAI: Vijay Shankar is the lone Tamil Nadu player in the India A squad for two four-day games against Australia A on a tour of Australia in August-September. They will also play a quadrangular series involving Australia A, South Africa A and Australia’s National Performance Squad.
“Delighted to know I’ll be touring Australia with the A squad. Although I’ve been to Dubai with an IPL team, I’m excited and looking forward to this experience,” said Vijay. He was part of four-day games against South Africa and Australia A teams in India last year.
“That experience was wonderful. You learn what it takes to play against players who have played international cricket. The Australia tour will be different and a learning curve for me. Conditions and wickets are different. The work ethic is also different out there. I want to make best use of the opportunity,” said the all-rounder.
“Australian grounds are big and have their own charm. Every game, every place is important. I would like to do well and prove that I can adapt to those conditions,” said the player, who gave a good account of himself against the tourists last year.
The 25-year-old has been in good touch in local tournaments and helped Vijay CC bag the TNCA limited-over and T20 titles. He batted up the order at No 4 and was more than handy with the ball. “Definitely, the time and effort put in in these tournaments will come in handy in Australia. Batting up the order helped me pace my innings better and also helped me adapt to the demands of the situation,” said the player with a first-class batting average of 48.60.
The youngster is thrilled that he will be working with the legendary Rahul Dravid. “He has been a big motivator for me. He has always asked me to go out and express myself and play my natural game. It will be one more opportunity to learn from the master and I am keen to make most of it,” signed off Vijay.
India A squad: Naman Ojha (captain), Faiz Fazal, Akhil Herwadkar, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Barinder Sran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sanju Samson.
Coach: Rahul Dravid.