India vs Australia: 'They were trying to have a conversation with me,' Thakur reveals how he tackled Australia's chatter
- India vs Australia: Shardul Thakur's innings, on expected lines, seemingly got under the skin of Australia, with the fast bowler explaining that the opposition reacted by chirping away a few words at him.
Playing just his second Test match, Shardul Thakur could not have asked for a better return to the format. The fast bowler not only picked up three wickets with the ball, but put on one of the most inspiring rearguard efforts with the bat on Day 3 of the fourth Test against Australia at Brisbane. Coming to bat with India on 186/6, Thakur scored a maiden half-century and along with debutant Washington Sundar, put on 123 runs for the seventh wicket.
Thakur and Sundar's counter-attacking partnership brought India back into the game, helping the team reduce its first-innings deficit to 33 runs. During his knock, Thakur played some remarkable strokes, especially off the fast bowlers. His innings, on expected lines, seemingly got under the skin of Australia, with the fast bowler explaining that the opposition reacted by chirping away a few words at him.
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"Australian players were trying to have a conversation with me, but I was not replying. I just replied once or twice, there were a lot of normal questions, even if they were trying to sledge me, I did not hear it, I just played on," Thakur said during the post-match virtual press conference.
This isn't the first time Thakur has stunned oppositions with the bat. Last year, during an ODI against West Indies, his unbeaten 17 off six balls helped India triumph by four wickets in a thrilling game. Besides, Thakur has played some handy knocks in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL as well. Prior to his half-century on Sunday, Thakur had five First-Class fifties under his belt, which suggest that the 29-year-old loves having a go with the bat.
"I have the talent for batting, whenever there are throwdowns taking place in nets, I practice my batting, these are the type of moments for which we practice our batting. An opportunity presented itself in this match, I knew that the team would benefit if I stay at the crease for a long haul. I haven't batted with Sundar much, I have just batted with him once or twice, once it was in a T20 match and once it was a practice game," Thakur added.
Thakur and Sundar accounted for the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India in Australia in Tests with both registering their maiden Test fifties. They batted gallantly against the second new ball with both batsmen playing some attractive shots. They took the score from 186/6 to 309 before the stand was broken by Pat Cummins and Thakur explained what he and Sundar discussed during their memorable partnership.
"Both of us have that temperament to succeed at this level, honestly we were not looking at the scoreboard, the idea was to spend some time in the middle. We knew their bowlers were tiring, it was a matter of one hour, if we hung in there for one more hour then probably, we would be on the top as the bowlers were already tiring. Both of us were communicating really well in the middle, if someone was losing control or trying a rash shot, we were immediately communicating that let's get back to normal," Thakur said.
"We were trying to defend a lot, as our partnership went on, we know there is some true bounce here at Gabba, we were just waiting for our chance, whenever there was a loose delivery, we were trying to put that away. It is a long tour, as a player, it is challenging to stay motivated and do well in the last game, the series is tied at 1-1, this game turns out to be the series decider so you do not need extra motivation, it is about giving 100 per cent for the team."