Gujarat Titans all-rounder Vijay Shankar played a terrific knock of 24-ball 51 and helped his side beat Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Saturday by seven-wicket. Post his heroics, he lauded the team management for playing a crucial role off the field in keeping the players in a very good mental space. The defending champions have been playing brilliant cricket in the 2023 edition of the IPL as they are sitting at the top spot of the points table currently.
“The team management plays a major role in keeping everyone in a very good space. We stick together and the amount of practice that we do is unbelievable. It’s not that other teams don’t do but we keep doing it for hours and hours. It helps us to get out of difficult situations and there will be difficult situations in IPL and T20 cricket. It’s about being together and communicating properly,” said Shankar in the post-match press conference.
“They (team management) keep us in a really good space, that doesn’t mean just giving us what we want but doing the right things. In practice, we don’t just turn up, practice and leave. We practice with a purpose, which is very important.”
“They give us clarity, define roles and people are ready to go out and do it for the team. It’s a very special team because it’s not just the players but also the support staff and even the net bowlers. Everyone deserves credit. That is the positive vibe that is needed.”
Shankar has scored 199 runs at an impressive strike rate of 165.83 so far in the IPL 2023 season.
“Before the IPL, I was out for five to six months with an injury. I came back and did well in the Ranji Trophy. I changed a lot of things and it worked for me. I changed my diet and not just physically, but even to the mental aspect of my game which I felt was important. All that together and with the team here, the management here helped me to get out of it properly. Happy that it is coming out good,” he stated.
“It’s too far from here. Mentally I’m not really thinking about all that because that is not in my hands. All I can do is win matches for my team. That is the only satisfaction that I can take.”
“If that (ODI World Cup selection) happens, well and good. Even if it doesn’t happen, cricket is something we all love and that’s why we continue playing. No expectations, just want to enjoy my cricket.”
Gujarat Titans will be locking horns against Delhi Capitals in the Narendra Modi Stadium against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday.