Shardul Thakur scores second-fastest fifty by an Indian in Test matches

Shardul Thakur took 31 balls to get to his fifty, during the first innings of the fourth Test against England at the Oval. Among Indians, only Kapil Dev got to the landmark quicker.

Shardul Thakur raises his bat after reaching fifty. It was the second half-century of his Test career. - GETTY IMAGES

Shardul Thakur scored the second-fastest half-century by an Indian during the first innings of the fourth Test against England at the Oval.

Coming in to bat at the fall of the sixth wicket, Shardul took his time to be set, and opened up in the post-tea session, unleashing an array of strokes to unsettle England. He struck seven fours and three sixes in his quickfire 57 (36b), employing mainly his drives, lofts, and pull shots. He reached his fifty off the 31st delivery he faced; only Kapil Dev (30b, Pakistan vs India, Karachi, 1982 ), among Indians, had got to the landmark quicker.

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Shardul's breezy knock was vastly different from all of the other members of India's line-up. Besides Virat Kohli (50, 96b, 8x4), none of the other batsmen scored more than 14 runs, and it seemed England's seamers were always in control.

Nineteen batsmen have taken 31 balls or less to score a half-century in Test matches. The last time a batsman scored a quicker half-century was in 2018, when New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme got to the landmark off 28 balls against Sri Lanka in Christchurch.

Shardul has 130 runs in his kitty so far in his Test career. His other famous knock was a 67 against Australia in Brisbane, in January, 2021.

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