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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

MS Dhoni by ‘his side’, Shardul Thakur ready for India debut

Shardul Thakur has been among the top domestic bowlers in the last few seasons after being the joint highest Ranji wicket-taker in 2014-15.

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Aug 30, 2017 22:42 IST
N. Ananthanarayanan
N. Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Shardul Thakur during a practice session in Colombo on Wednesday.
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Shardul Thakur during a practice session in Colombo on Wednesday.(PTI)

Shardul Thakur believes he will have to be ready and wait for the opportunity when the Indian team management decides to give the pace bowler his debut for the national team.

The 25-year-old Mumbai pacer has been among the top domestic bowlers in the last few seasons, after being the joint highest Ranji wicket-taker in 2014-15 and playing a major role in winning the national title the next year.

Thakur has been impressive bowling in the nets, even revealing the pace bowler’s temperament there with a bouncer to skipper Virat Kohli. “I wanted to bowl and bouncer and I bowled”.

On Thursday, if Thakur is handed his India cap, he can fall back on former skipper and milestone man MS Dhoni, who will play in his 300th ODI, who he rubbed shoulders with during his IPL stint with Rising Pune Supergiant last season.

Dhoni as mentor

“I’ve always asked him about his experiences and he has given me advice. He is the wicketkeeper and he has seen a lot of bowlers, like what do they do in a particular situation. Playing with him in the IPL was a big boost, because in the matches I have learnt a lot of things from him.”

Asked about the mentoring by the World Cup- and IPL-winning skipper, Thakur said: “Like when to use cross-seam deliveries and when to bowl seam-ups.”

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Thakur, who has also worked with current bowling coach, Bharat Arun, as an under-19 player in the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, said he realises that mental toughess was vital at the international level.

Stepping up

“Whenever you move one level up, domestic to IPL and then to international cricket, the skill is always there.

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“But you got to prepare well mentally. The international game’s pressure is different, domestic game’s pressure is different.

“Personally, I’ve to be mentally tough and be ready for the challenges.”

Thakur has built a reputation as a first-class cricketer, but is unfazed he will have to replicate his success in the limited-overs game.

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“It is not that difficult if you have practised enough. It is only recollecting what you have practised.

“With the white ball, you have to use a lot of variations when needed.

“With the red ball, you have to stick to your plans, again and again. You have to keep bowling your stock deliveries. It is more about patience there.”

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 22:16 IST