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Vijay Shankar: All you need to know about India's new all-rounder

Sportskeeda logo Sportskeeda 21-11-2017 Vignesh Ananthasubramanian

a man holding a baseball bat: Image result for vijay shankar © Getty Image result for vijay shankar

With medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar opting to take a break ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur for his wedding, the selectors have given Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar a maiden call-up to the Indian squad.

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Vijay has been knocking the doors of the selectors for a while with some consistent performances in the domestic circuit and with India A. After making his debut for Tamil Nadu in 2012, the all-rounder has scored 1671 runs and adding to that, he has accounted for 64 wickets across all formats at an average of 35.

He is a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad squad in the IPL and played a couple of good innings in the handful of matches he played in the 2017 edition.

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Slide 10 Harbhajan Singh: The crème de la crème of Indian cricket feature in this distinguished group. ​After honing in on numerous top-class players during the course of the last month or so, we have moved on to the final segment of our exclusive weekend feature. Close on the heels of ranks 20-11 last week, the attention has now shifted to those in the upper-most pantheon of Indian cricket legends.Let us take a close look at ten of the greatest cricketers to represent India in Tests. This illustrious set of icons contains the most exalted heroes who managed to leave a deep imprint on the cricket crazy populace as well as the annals of the game's ultimate format.Here are the key factors which have been taken into consideration in order to enumerate these distinguished cricketers.a) Overall career consistency.b) Performances in matches won.c) Performances in Tests outside India.d) Game-changing efforts in big matches against quality opponents on Indian soil.e) Stature in world cricket; opinions of peers and various experts.f) Establishing new trends by breaking previously existing stereotypes.g) Minimum cut-off of 1000 runs for batsmen/100 wickets for bowlers/50 dismissals for wicket-keepers in order to formulate a meaningful sample size.h) Statistics have not been assumed to be the be-all and end-all of a player’s value. A general consensus has been arrived after factoring in every aspect of each cricketer’s career.Harbhajan Singh is the second most prolific spinner in Indian Test historyUpon foraying into international cricket as a precocious teenager during the 1998 Bangalore Test against Australia, Harbhajan Singh could not initially cope with the transition from the domestic arena to the highest level of the game. Despite having been written off by various pundits, he rose from the ashes to make one of the astonishing comebacks in history. Having labelled India as 'The Final Frontier', the all-conquering team led by Steve Waugh could only dance to the tunes of the wily off-spinner.Also Read: Top 5 spells of Harbhajan Singh against Australia in IndiaWith an astonishing tally of 32 wickets at a strike-rate of 33.4, Harbhajan played an instrumental role in India pulling off their most memorable Test series triumph against one of the greatest ever teams assembled in the sport. From then on, he never looked back. The 'Turbanator' quickly established himself as skipper Sourav Ganguly's key weapon and even went on to briefly keep the much more accomplished Anil Kumble out of the playing eleven whenever the team travelled abroad.Following Kumble's retirement, Harbhajan took on the role of India's lead spinner and chipped in with crucial contributions in the team's ascent to the top of the Test rankings. However, at the peak of his powers, he gradually began to lose form. Due to the emergence of much younger alternatives in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the stalwart lost his place in the side. Nevertheless, he continues to remain the third highest wicket-taker in Indian Test history.*Career Span: 1998-presentStatistics: 417 wickets from 103 matches at an average of 32.46 and strike-rate of 68.5 with 25 five-wicket hauls and 5 ten-wicket hauls(*Note: Harbhajan Singh has not officially announced his retirement from Test cricket)​ Top 30 Indian Test cricketers of all-time

He was included in the India A squad that toured Australia in 2016 to play in a quadrangular List A series and two four-day matches. Unfortunately, he got injured and underwent a knee surgery. Hardik Pandya replaced him, did well and went on to make his ODI and Test debut later.

Vijay was a part of the India A squad that toured South Africa earlier this year and he was quite decent in the List A tri-series before a ball hit his shoulder and he was left out of action for few weeks.

After making a return in the series against New Zealand, he played a couple of match-winning knocks for India A. He scored an unbeaten 42-ball 47 when his team was trailing at 23/3 chasing 144 before scoring 61 off just 33 balls including five sixes in the last match of the series. In the ongoing Ranji Trophy, he scored a stroke-filled century for TN against Odisha and has looked good with both bat and ball.

Let us take a look at ten things you need to know about the 26-year-old.

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(Video provided by NDTV)

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1. Vijay Shankar was born on January 26, 1991, in Nellai, Tamil Nadu, before he moved to Chennai later in his career.

2. He bats right-handed and is also a right-arm medium pacer. He considers himself as a genuine all-rounder, who can contribute with both bat and ball.

3. Though he is bowling right-arm medium pace now, he started his career as an off-spinner and decided to change to medium pace so that he can get a place in the Tamil Nadu team that has a lot of offies in it.

4. To avoid travelling to the ground (which is a tiring process) to train, Vijay trains in the terrace of his house that doubles up as his make-shift indoor nets.

5. His father, Mr. H Shankar used to play Cricket in his younger days and his brother, Ajay plays lower-division games in the TNCA division leagues.

6. He is a prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit as he averages almost 50 in 32 first-class games.

7. Vijay, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in four matches in the 2017 season, was also a part of Chennai Super Kings until they were suspended for two years. He played just one match for MS Dhoni and co. in 2014.

8. Growing up, Rahul Dravid was his idol and the former India captain's match-winning knocks of 233 and 72* against Australia in Adelaide had a big influence in his career and he often sees those knocks to motivate himself.

9. Earlier this year, in his first assignment as a skipper, Vijay captained Tamil Nadu to triumph in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy.

10. Vijay, whose career is plagued by injuries, recorded a score of 18.5 in the Yo-Yo test(benchmark score is 16.10).

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