India all-rounder has faced an injury scare this week after being hit on the toe by Jasprit Bumrah
India all-rounder Vijay Shankar believes his performance against Pakistan will act as a catalyst for success in the upcoming matches of 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
The 28-year-old impressed on his World Cup debut against Pakistan on Sunday, taking two wickets following his inclusion in the XI in place of Shikhar Dhawan, who has been ruled out of the team with a fractured finger.
“The last game gave me some confidence, and especially playing against Pakistan, making my debut against them,” said Shankar. “It was a very special thing for me, performing under pressure and coming out good.”
Virat Kohli's side have made an unbeaten start to the World Cup, with three convincing victories and one washout so far.
India's next test is likely to be their least demanding of the group stage against an Afghanistan team that has lost all five of their games.
But India all-rounder Shankar insists the number-two ranked ODI team have a professional approach for every game and will look to keep improving against bottom of the table Afghanistan.
"Being a professional, it's very important to keep improving and get better every day," Shankar told reporters in Southampton on Friday.
"That is the only thing which each and every individual thinks about. If you can keep getting better, we can set ourselves better standards every game.
"It's not about against whom we're playing. I think it's about how we play as individuals."
Shankar has faced an injury scare this week after being hit on the toe by India pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the nets ahead of their fifth group game.
He tried to dispel doubt about his participation in Saturday's game by saying "hopefully" he will be ready.
"I know I can bowl a lot better than what I am bowling even now," said Shankar, who has played 10 ODI matches since making his international debut against Australia in January this year.
"I always have a good chat with my bowling coach (Bharat Arun) and try and get better each and every day and look to get something from him which can help my bowling."
Shankar has shared the same dressing room with Afghanistan's premier leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
Khan leaked 110 runs in his wicketless nine overs -- the most expensive bowling figures in World Cup history -- as he was hammered by England in Afghanistan's last match.
But Shankar is adamant India, who have lived up to their pre-tournament favourite billing along with England and Australia, will take nothing for granted against the minnows.
"Every day is different, and every wicket is different. You cannot take things for granted," Shankar said.
"So tomorrow might be a completely different scenario where we'll have to -- we might have to target him, or we might have to play off.
"It is just about adapting ourselves to different situations as quickly as we can."