Shardul Thakur – “I Love Challenges”
By P - Mar 13, 2018 10:57 am
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For Indian cricketers waiting in the wings, the T20 Tri-series in Sri Lanka, the Nidahas Trophy, was always going to be a testing ground. In absence of the experienced bowlers, the Indian youth bowling attack was exposed and tested severely. After being taken apart in the first T20I, Shardul Thakur passed the test with flying colors yesterday.

Shardul Thakur who was thrashed by Kusal Perera in the first T20I for 27 runs in one over, shined in golden colors yesterday as he bagged the Man of the Match award against Sri Lanka for his bowling figures of 4/27.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur captured four Sri Lankan wickets in the fourth T20I match of the Nidahas Trophy (Source: AFP)

The medium-pace Mumbaikar bowler acknowledged the inferior performance in the first T20, he said “The first game against Sri Lanka was an eye-opener for us. I got hit for 27 runs. We have come back very strongly in our last two games and have executed our plans in a better way”

A bowler without variations in T20 cricket is an easy target for the batsmen. Shardul possesses an effective knuckleball and in the after-match press conference, he spoke in detail about it.

Also Read: Shardul Thakur picks career-best T20I figures

“I have been practicing the knuckleball for a long time, almost since the last two years. I knew the grip for it, and I learned it on my own, I have tried bowling the knuckleball whenever I played white-ball cricket.”

Thakur played the lead role in restricting Sri Lanka’s total 15-20 runs short from where they could have ended. He picked up the key wickets of the opener Gunathilaka and Thisara Perera when both looked like taking the game away from India. Shardul picked up the wickets of two tail-enders as well to complete his first four-wicket haul in T20Is.

Also Read: Shardul Thakur surprised people by returning the local train

Speaking about leading the Indian bowling attack, Shardul sounding confident said “I love challenges and I am taking this series as a challenge when the senior bowlers are missing from the team. I have done this for the Mumbai team before. I had to step up in the absence of Dhawal Kulkarni, Zaheer Khan or Ajit Agarkar.”

Shardul Thakur has taken a four-wicket haul in the ODI cricket previously, it came against South Africa. (Source: AFP)

After this series, the established names such as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaspreet Bumrah will return to the Indian team. Their entry will displace Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat. But the strong performances here will secure their place as the instant replacement of the primary pace bowlers.

The next match against Bangladesh and the probable final after that will give maximum two opportunities for these young players to showcase their talent and claim a place in the regular Indian team. Shardul Thakur will be back behind the bowling crease on Wednesday against Bangladesh.