I have given my 100 percent, says Shardul Thakur

Thakur has not had a great domestic season, with a tally of only 17 wickets but the Mumbai pacer feels he has given his 100 percent in batting, bowling and fielding.

Shardul Thakur believes lack of focussed preparation for the Ranji Trophy may have dulled his performance levels this season.

When Shardul Thakur entered the domestic season, he was challenged with a dual responsibility: that of leading the Mumbai pace attack in the absence of Dhawal Kulkarni – who was with India’s one-day team then and was sidelined due to a knee injury later; and also keep himself in contention for a place in the Test squad.

Those who prefer to analyse performances merely on the basis of numbers would feel he has let himself down on both counts. A tally of 17 wickets from eight games was certainly not impressive, especially on the back of two preceding 40-wickets-plus seasons.

But neither Thakur nor most of those who have seen him bowl would feel the Mumbai speedster has been below par. No doubt he has been inconsistent with his line and length but he has consistently run in at full steam – as was displayed during a nine-over spell split on either sides of the tea break on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Tamil Nadu that got Mumbai back in the game.

“I wouldn’t say that I am totally happy with how it’s turned out for me this season but my efforts are there, so I am happy about giving my hundred percent in batting, bowling, fielding,” Thakur said.

“We played a few games in places like Mysore, Hubli which were dull pitches. Even there, I had my chances but there were a few decisions which could have gone either way. If you see, I got two-two wickets at the top and I didn’t really bowl to the tail, so if you look at the wickets column, it’s always going to be one-two-or three wickets.”

Trying too hard

Former India bowling coach B. Arun watched Thakur’s performance from close quarters during the last week’s quarterfinal in Raipur. Arun tended to feel it was natural for someone like Thakur to try too hard for wickets but advised Thakur would be better off to stick to the basics rather than doing something extravagant.

Thakur, on the other hand, mentions the lack of focussed preparation towards the Ranji Trophy may have hampered his performance. “I haven’t changed anything going into the season but preparations have definitely changed. In the off-season, I was touring with the Indian team. In the domestic off-season we were playing against West Indies so I was there,” he said.

“Then I went to play against Australia for India A, so I was playing matches and I wasn’t really in the frame of Ranji Trophy when I came. But coming here it was important for me to keep bowling well. In that way you can say that things were different for me.”