‘He had taken 300 wickets before making Test debut’: Karthik recalls ‘first impression’ of 30-year-old India bowler
Karthik heaped big praise on his India teammate, explaining how he put up impressive performances in the domestic circuit before rubbing shoulders with Test stars.
He has been called 'Beefy', 'Bull' and even 'Lord'. India all-rounder Shardul Thakur belongs to a rare breed of players who can turn the game on its head, irrespective of format or conditions. He chips in with a couple of wickets to make his presence felt in the star-studded bowling line-up and adds runs with the bat as well. But above all, he loves to thrive under pressure, with England being one of his favourite places.
Shardul, who snared seven ODI wickets in the recent tour of West Indies, fits in seamlessly as an additional bowler. His performance at the Oval remains the highlight of his Test career so far. He shone with the willow to hit a 36-ball 57, which helped India to score 191. In the second innings, Shardul bettered his score with the bat, scoring a 72-ball 60. He also picked two crucial wickets, including that of Joe Root in the second innings which triggered England's batting collapse.
Like most players who dream of making it big, Shardul had humble beginnings. He travelled about 90km every day from Palghar to Mumbai in his formative years. India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik has heaped big praise on Shardul, explaining how he put up impressive performances in the domestic circuit before rubbing shoulders with Test stars. Karthik lauded the 30-year-old's "confidence" on the biggest stage.
“A lot of people thought he was new and saw him in that Test series, but I’ve seen him from 2012, playing for Bombay, coming in when there were probably not many people watching Ranji Trophy. What I’ve liked that he had taken 300 domestic wickets before playing Test cricket and that would keep a bowler in good stead. So when I saw him in England, the first thing I wanted to see was is are they able to transfer the confidence to the international level. And there is one thing that he’s answered very clearly. If there’s one thing he does not lack is his confidence," said Karthik on Cricbuzz’s Summer Stalemate.
Shardul hit three sixes and seven fours to register 57 runs in 36 balls at a strike rate of 158.33 in the Oval Test. It was the second-fastest Test fifty by an Indian batter. When asked about his blistering show, he had weighed in on creating 'impact' with the willow.
"Whenever you get the opportunity, you have to take the responsibility by hook or crook. I always see it as a challenge that whenever I get my batting I have do something to create an impact. Our batting coach and our throwdown experts kept giving me the confidence that I can score runs so on this day I had to deliver," said Shardul who likes to keep things simple."