Indian fast-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur made his comeback in the playing XI for The Oval Test against England. He celebrated his return to the team with a record-breaking fifty on day one of the fourth Test.
Joe Root won the toss and opted to bowl first keeping the overcast condition and a green tinge on The Oval pitch in mind. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul gave a steady start to India but were soon dismissed with India had only 28 runs on the board.
India had the ghost of the Headingley Test rushing back as they were 127/7 and were starring down at another below-par total. However, Shardul Thakur played a sensational knock to propel India’s total to 191/10.
Thakur came at number 8 after Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket. Rishabh Pant had the onus to steady India’s innings but he threw away his wicket cheaply. Thakur unleashed the attacking mode and smashed every England bowler during his knock.
He smacked seven fours and three sixes during his 57-run knock, which came in just 36 balls. In the process, he recorded the fastest test half-century in Tests in England. Thakur reached to his fifty in 31 balls bettering Ian Botham’s record of 32-ball fifty in England.
Watch the video here;
Shardul counter-attacks England in style and races to his 50 with a pull over square leg for 6.
— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) September 2, 2021
Shardul Thakur 50 in 31 balls
** the 2nd fastest by an Indian in Tests (Kapil 30 balls)
** the fastest by any batsman in England (Botham 32 balls also at Oval in 1986)#INDvsEND #IndvEng#ENGvIND #EngvsInd
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) September 2, 2021
Also, this was the second-fastest fifty in Tests by an Indian batsman only behind Kapil Dev’s effort which came in 30 balls.
Thakur was looking dangerous and threatened to take the control of the game from England. However, Chris Woakes trapped him in front of the wickets to give relief to his team.
India took no time in getting all-out after Thakur’s departure. Jasprit Bumrah got run out in the most unlikely fashion before Umesh Yadav edged one ball to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. England bundled India’s innings for 191, where Woakes was the wrecker in chief with four wickets in his comeback game.
Earlier, Virat Kohli scored a fifty to stabilize the Indian innings but got out soon after reaching the milestone.