Comeback-man Vijay Shankar gives TN third straight win
CHENNAI: Vijay Shankar made a successful return from injury for Tamil Nadu on Saturday as he hit an unbeaten 91 to guide his side to a seven-wicket victory against Bihar on Saturday. The win gave TN their third win on the trot in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and helped them notch up 12 points in Group C.
While TN's opponents on the day were not of optimum standard, it was still an important innings for the India allrounder given the time he has spent on the sidelines recently. He had returned home early from India's World Cup campaign in England due to a toe injury and then suffered a thumb injury in the nets during the recent series between India A and South Africa A despite not featuring in a single game.
As a result, he had to miss Tamil Nadu's opening two matches of the new season, but his return comes at a crucial juncture for the state side. With TN set to face a sterner test against Bengal on Tuesday, it is imperative that Dinesh Karthik's men field a full-strength side that is high on confidence. Shankar also delivered six overs with the ball and took a wicket in the very first over of the Bihar innings.
The 28-year-old admitted that there was a lot of frustration with how things have panned out recently but wants to move on now. "It has been a very irritating period for me. But I have tried to make sure that it affects me as less as possible. I am just happy to be back on the field and to be contributing for my team," a relieved Shankar told TOI on Saturday.
Talking about how he dealt with the recent phase, he said: "I was travelling with whatever team I was playing for even when I was injured to keep myself busy with positive thoughts. I cannot do anything about the injuries I have had. These are just freak injuries."
While the injury in the World Cup would have been heartbreaking, the subsequent injury in the India A series - which has impacted his chances of returning to the national side at the start of the home season - was perhaps even more disappointing.
"I wanted to make a strong comeback in the India A series. But I have not been able to do so. I have just tried to be positive all this while. It is definitely hard but there is no other way," he added.
Brief scores: Bihar 217/7 in 50 overs (Babul Kumar 110; M Mohammed 3/33). Tamil Nadu 218/3 in 46.5 overs (Vijay Shankar 91 not out, B Aparajith 52 not out). TN won by 7 wickets.