IPL 2023: I should have finished the chase; was hitting the ball towards the end, says Vijay Shankar

Bengaluru, May 22 (IANS) After Gujarat Titans secured a six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in last league match of IPL 2023 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, all-rounder Vijay Shankar said he should have finished off the chase as he was able to hit the ball well towards the end.

In chasing 198, Shubman Gill dazzled with an unbeaten 104 off 52 balls, laced with hitting five fours and eight sixes at a strike-rate of 200 to chase down the total with five balls to spare. Supporting him was Shankar, who slammed a 35-ball 53, laced with seven fours, and two sixes in a crucial 123-run partnership off 71 balls for the second wicket.

“We have been playing good cricket overall and this chase was really needed for us. Going into the playoffs, chasing close to 200 was really satisfying. I should have finished it. I was set and hitting the ball well towards the end, overall it was a wonderful feeling to win the game.”

“It wasn’t that easy with the new ball when they bowled the back of a length balls into the pitch, that’s the reason why we could not get the ball in the gaps. The way Shubman played was outstanding and he has shown everyone how to bat on different wickets,” said Shankar after the match ended.

Shankar also cited that Gujarat having required batting firepower along with team-work is making the side click again in the competition. “We are trying to get closer to the target, not trying to overdo things. Take the game as close as we can, once we get closer to the total and with the firepower we have we can chase any score.”

“Rashid Khan gave us a great example against Mumbai, even though we lost wickets we lost by 20-odd runs. We have been playing good cricket overall, we have been bowling really well, a couple of bowlers leading the charts and Shubman leading the run-scorers and the others chipping in.”

It has also meant that Shankar hasn’t bowled a single delivery in IPL 2023, but he revealed that he does pace bowling practice in the net sessions. “I have been practising in the nets and bowling, but with the current rule we have 6 bowlers, only will bowl if it’s really needed but I’m practising in the nets to be ready if that one over is required.”

With Gujarat now all set to play Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk on Tuesday, Shankar signed off by saying playing against the MS Dhoni-led side will be a wonderful feeling for his team.

“It’s about taking it game by game and it’s important to enjoy as we don’t get to play in the playoffs every season. To go out there and face CSK in Chennai is going to be really special. It’s a wonderful feeling.”



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