‘Dream come true for me’, says Vijay Shankar after WC call

Kolkata: Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who was on Monday named in India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup, said it was a dream come true to be a part of the team.

“I am very excited. It has been a dream for me to be a part of this team for a long time now,” he said. “As a team, we have done some special things and I have been through that journey and I have really wanted to be a part of this team,” he told www.kkr.in.

Karthik Monday returned to India’s World Cup squad after 12 years, trumping Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent Rishabh Pant in a selection move that will be debated for a long time. The second wicketkeeper was the sole bone of contention for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on 30 May and the 33-year-old Karthik’s experience of 91 ODIs gave him the edge over the 21-year-old Pant, according to the five-member selection panel headed by MSK Prasad.

Another Tamilnadu lad, Vijay Shankar also earned his call-up to the team. Batting all-rounder Vijay Shankar on Monday experienced a “dream come true” moment and said he is learning the art of handling pressure in a mega event from IPL teammates like Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“I am extremely elated to be in the Indian WC team. This is like a dream come true. We have a few World Cup winning team members here at Sunrisers Hyderabad and I have spoken to them to understand what it feels like to play in a WC and then go on to win it. I have learnt a lot from them on the ways to manage pressure at such a large scale event,” said Shankar referring to his IPL teammate Bhuvneshwar.

Shankar is expected to be used as a floater in the batting order, especially at number 4. With his ‘three-dimensional qualities’, the Tamilnadu player took the slot which was speculated to go to Ambati Rayudu before his dip in form in the home series against Australia last month.

Bhuvneshwar, who will be playing his second World Cup, too was elated. ‘I am extremely happy to be selected for the World Cup, the conducive English conditions will suit my strength and I am looking to make the most of it. Playing for SRH in IPL has given me the right match practice just before the mega tournament like World Cup,” he said.

He will be working alonside two other pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. Mohammed Shami is in the form of his life and he wants to carry that into the World Cup. ‘I am thankful to almighty Allah that I have got another chance to play in the World Cup for my country. I am in the best shape of my life, I am in good rhythm and I just want to carry this to the World Cup,’ Shami, who turns out for IPL team Kings XI Punjab, said here on Tuesday.

He said that he has been continuously working on his fitness. “I am feeling same rhythm I was feeling at the start (international debut in 2013), he said after being named in the World Cup squad for the second time. “From players to coaching staff to management, everyone has backed me, now it is my turn to repay,” the 28-year-old, who has 113 wickets from 63 ODIs, said.

NT Bureau