Bowlers will use bouncers at grounds with big square boundaries: Vijay Shankar


In a bid to help the pace bowlers counter the big-hitting prowess of batters, a new rule has been ushered in the IPL  – Two bouncers per over. So, how does Vijay Shankar, the seam-bowling all-rounder from Gujarat Titans, go about employing the two bouncers? “As a bowler, one has to use that in the right way. There are a few grounds in India which are really big in terms of square boundaries and on those venues, every fast bowler will use bouncers,” he said in a virtual press conference ahead of GT’s game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ahmedabad.

The question is also related to the batting side of things. Shankar, who is known for his pyrotechnics with a willow in hand, says, “We are practising so hard and have to prepare for everything. When you walk in, you just have to react to whatever is bowled towards you, which is a good challenge actually.

“Usually, after the first bouncer is bowled, as a batter, you then become ready to hit the stripes. Now it is that anytime the bouncer can be bowled, or they can even use a slower bouncer. So, we need to be really smart as a batting unit and be prepared about the different kinds of deliveries one can face in a game,” he observed.

For the 2024 IPL season, GT also have a new skipper in Shubman Gill, who in turn has taken over from Hardik Pandya. So, what does Shankar make about Gill’s captaincy skills? Incidentally, Shankar has led Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. 

Honestly, I don’t see a big difference because as players, when you get your role clarity from the support staff, management, and even the captain, it actually becomes very simple. You just have to go out there and do what is expected of you. Last two years, it was Hardik and now it’s Shubman, so there’s been no difference actually.”

“In the first two games, there was really not much of a difference. The first game went really close, and we were able to pull things back. In the second, they (CSK) batted really well, and it became a tough game for us. But then, as a captain, it is about backing the players and he’s doing that really well,” he pointed out.

In the ongoing IPL, Shankar has batted at different positions – four and six. On his part, Shankar believes it is about adapting to different situations of the game and contributing to the team’s cause. “Even last year, I batted at different batting positions and was able to do well for the team. It’s not about where I bat; it’s about whether I can adapt myself in a given situation and if I can take the team to a good position. If I can help the team win or two from there, then it will be the best thing for me.”

“If I am batting at number four, five, six, and seven, then you have to be flexible about adapting your batting in different situations. It’s been very clear here and also, even last year, it was like this. In the game against RCB, I batted at number three and then in the qualifiers, I batted at number six and seven.”


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