'Three-dimensional' Vijay Shankar enthusiastic for his first world cup campaign

NEW DELHI: The confusion over the first choice player for India's No. 4 slot finally ended on Monday when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors announced the 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 to be played in England and Wales from May 30. According to the selectors, Vijay Shankar will be India's number 4 to begin with.


The all-rounder was glued to his television screen when the BCCI's chief selector MSK Prasad and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhry addressed the media and read out the names of the 15 men who will represent India at the World Cup this time.

"I had an idea about my selection. I switched on the television and was waiting for the announcement. I was extremely delighted when my name was announced," Shankar told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.

"I am so happy today. I will give my best in the tournament. I am excited to play under Virat (Kohli)", an excited Shankar said.

In the 15-member squad, Dinesh Karthik was given the second wicketkeeper's slot over rising 21-year-old star Rishabh Pant.

Karthik's form has been indifferent in recent games, but selectors valued his performance under pressure over the years.

For Shankar, his maiden World Cup appearance is a huge step forward in his career.

"It is a dream come true for me. It is my maiden appearance and I am excited about it. The feeling is yet to sink in" Shankar said after his selection.

According to MSK Prasad, Shankar provides the team three-dimensional options (bowling, batting and fielding).

"After the Champions Trophy, we tried a lot of middle order batsmen, which includes Karthik as well. We gave Rayudu many chances, but Shankar gives us ability with the three dimensions (bowling, batting, fielding). If the conditions are suitable, he can come in as an all-rounder. Shankar is a batsman who can bowl, we are looking to play him at number four," Prasad said at the press briefing.

India's 15-member squad:

Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami.