January 26, 1991, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
A middle-order batsman who can grind attacks and bowl medium-pace, Vijay Shankar established himself as one of the key members of a Tamil Nadu side undergoing transition in 2014-15. Particularly strong off the pads, and with a fondness for driving on the up, Shankar made scores of 111, 82, 91, 103 in the Ranji Trophy knockouts to finish with 577 runs at 57.70 that season, after returning from a groin injury.
He was subsequently rewarded with an India A call up and made an unbeaten half-century on debut against an Australia A attack comprising Gurinder Sandhu, Andrew Fekete, Sean Abbott, and Steve O'Keefe. Shankar also impressed against South Africa A and aimed to become a genuine allrounder, instead of a batsman who can bowl part-time.
As a teenager Shankar had honed his skills on his terrace, which doubled up as a make-shift indoor net, with his father and brother Ajay, who played lower-division cricket in Tamil Nadu. Shankar bowled offspin until he was 20, but switched to medium-pace in a bid to break into a spin-heavy Tamil Nadu side.
At 21, he was handed his first-class debut against Vidarbha in Nagpur, where he scored 63 not out and took two wickets. He had to play understudy to a settled middle order, before his breakthrough season in 2014-15. He had to play understudy at Chennai Super Kings in the IPL as well, getting just a solitary game over three seasons. He was then bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2016 IPL auction.
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