Bhuvneshwar Kumar got injured in between the big match against Pakistan in the 2019 ICC World Cup - The bowler, who was brought on to complete Kumar's over, struck on the very first ball to remove Imam-ul-Haq and became only the third bowler after Malachi Jones of Bermuda and Ian Harvey of Australia to achieve this feat in an ODI World Cup - That's the best way to introduce Vijay Shankar.
Born in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Vijay Shankar made his first appearance for his state team in the 2012 Ranji Trophy. A half-century and two wickets in his debut match were enough to show the glimpse of his all-round talent. The 2014-15 edition though should be considered as the breakthrough season for him. He finished with 500-plus runs at an average of 57.7 and was soon included in India A squad to play Australia.
Primarily a batsman who can bowl useful seam-up deliveries, Shankar was first selected in the Test squad in 2017 to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar but he didn't get the chance to make his debut. A few months later though, he was picked in the T20I squad for the Nidahas Trophy and won the Man of the Match award in his second match. After Hardik Pandya's ban for controversial remarks in a television show, Vijay Shankar was named as the replacement for the remaining two ODIs of the Australian tour and the whole of the New Zealand series to follow in early 2019.
Shankar's knock of 45 under pressure and in tough conditions in Wellington proved his talent as a batsman and a few more useful innings post that were enough to earn him the ticket for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.