The competition for the pacer’s slot in the Indian team gets stiffer after every IPL season. So some proficiency with the bat could come in handy. Shardul Thakur seems to be well aware of that fact.
The man who became part of cricketing folklore with his exceptional half-century in India’s stunning victory in the Brisbane Test early last year showed yet again his usefulness in the lower middle-order, against South Africa in the first ODI at Lucknow, where he also claimed two wickets and was the most economic Indian bowler.
“I have been focusing on my batting for quite a long time,” Shardul said on Saturday, the eve of the second ODI. “If those who bat at No.7, 8 or even 9 could add a few runs to the team’s total it is great.”
He said successful international teams batted deep. “Australia has Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc and even England’s batting line-up is deep,” he said. “So why not the Indian team? We can have a deeper batting line-up and that can make the difference in a game. Some 20 runs can be crucial, especially in the white-ball format.”
Shardul said he was disappointed that he could not make it to the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia. “Every player dreams to play in the World Cup, not just play but win it as well,” he said.
He believes the criticism against the Indian bowling of late is unfair. ”It’s not fair to criticise only the Indians, even their bowlers are punished,” he said. “I think before questioning the consistency we should see how the wicket was, the conditions. Sometimes in an ODI match more than 350-runs are scored so in that case every bowler gets hit.”
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