Shardul, Washington century partnership shatters records, frustrates Australia

AUS vs IND, Gabba Test: The earlier record for the highest seventh-wicket stand in Brisbane by India was set in 1991 by Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar.

Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar

Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar during the Brisbane Test.   -  Getty Images

Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar, on Sunday, frustrated Australia as they stitched together a hundred-run partnership, which is the all-time highest seventh-wicket stand for India in Gabba. They surpassed former skipper Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar, the duo having contributed 58 runs to the scoreboard in 1991.

This also happens to be the third-highest 100-plus seventh-wicket partnership for India in Australia after Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja's 204 in Sydney 2018-19 and 132 by Vijay Hazare and Hemu Adhikari in Adelaide 1947-48.

Six to start, six to get to 50

Thakur meant business and it became evident only moments after he came to the crease, on day three of the Border-Gavaskar series, when he pulled a short ball from World No. 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins over backward square leg and into the stands to get off the mark in style.

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The 29-year-old bowler from Palghar has the makings of an all-rounder. A right-handed batter, Shardul even sliced a widish bouncer from pacer Mitchell Starc, who is known for his ability to quickly remove tail-enders, averaging about 13 while on it, right after the Tea Break to make the ropes at deep backward point. A little while later, he scored his maiden Test fifty off 90 balls, hammering a glorious maximum over long-on.

Washi's all-round show

Meanwhile, Washington, at the other end and on his Test debut, joined the celebrations eight balls later after scoring his half-century off 109 deliveries. Washington, who clinched a three-fer earlier with the ball, provided able support as he kept rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking.

He became only the second Indian player to hit 50+ and take three-plus wickets on debut after Dattu Phadkar (51 & 3/14 vs Australia in Sydney 1947-48). The 21-year-old all-rounder from Chennai is now also the third-highest scorer (62 runs) among all India number sevens on debut after Rahul Dravid's 95 against England in Lord's in 1996 and Bapu Nadkarni's unbeaten 68 vs New Zealand in Delhi in 1955.

The game-changing partnership came to an end in the 103rd over when Cummins got an inswinging delivery to sneak past Shardul's defence and rattle the sticks. He departed for 67 off 115 balls. His knock was studded with nine fours and two sixes.

Kohli, VVS congratulate duo

India captain Virat Kohli congratulated Washington and Shardul tweeting, "Outstanding application and belief by @Sundarwashi5 and @imShard. This is what test cricket is all about. Washy top composure on debut and tula parat maanla re Thakur!"

Former India cricketer VVS Laxman said, "Congrats @Sundarwashi5 & @imShard on ur maiden Test 50’s. Loved the fight, technique and will power you both exhibited. Also a good example for young bowlers to work on their batting as you never know when your contribution with the bat will help the team. #AUSvIND"


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