‘There must be a self-belief in Shardul Thakur’, says Shaun Pollock
By SMCS - Jan 5, 2022 4:00 pm
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Former player Shaun Pollock was impressed with the pace bowler Shardul Thakur after the all-rounder registered the best figures by an Asian cricketer in South Africa – 7/61 – in Johannesburg on Tuesday as well. Thakur came to bowl after 37 overs and picked up three crucial wickets as well. And, his spell helped India restrict the hosts within 229 runs as well.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur bowled a phenomenal spell

Pollock told Cricbuzz: “There must be a self-belief in #LordThakur (chuckles), with the way he’s performed. And a brilliant 7/61… I think just his angle on the crease was the key to his success here. From wide, he was angling in and getting it to shape away, and then if it didn’t do that, it would sort of nip back and get the batters to play at it.”

Pollock continued: “His game plan was pretty good, he didn’t mix it up too much, there was the odd short delivery thrown in but he just kept running in almost like he had this magical or real desire to try and prove a point…”

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While speaking in the same video, India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said he has a “special place” in his heart for Shardul Thakur. He said that he has admired the seamer since his state cricket days, where he had a similar knack of taking wickets.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur bowled a brilliant spell

Karthik added: “I have a special place for him in my heart only because as a domestic player he’s played 60-70 matches for Bombay [Mumbai] which has done phenomenally well… Obviously, he started as the third bowler but went on to become their lead bowler along with Dhawal Kulkarni and did brilliantly well for them. He was the guy who used to pick up wickets early, partnership breaker there as well, so he’s used to this. And just his attitude – I mean, if you just look at him and look at the skills of a Bumrah or a Shami, you go ‘Wow, what’s so special about him?’ But I think his specialty is his self-confidence.”

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However, this was also Shardul Thakur’s maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket. However, after his brilliant spell, India lost two wickets before stumps at 85-2 (lead of 58) as well.

“I think South Africa’s approach will be a lot different. I think India would go in a lot happier than they would have [expected] after the partnership, the rate at which they scored the runs and the 58 they have on the board. It’s going to be interesting. The wicket is going to continue misbehaving… I think if India can set anything more than 220-225 and up to 250, it will be a really big ask of South Africa to try and knock that off,” Pollock concluded.