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‘(If Australia and England can)….why not the Indian team’: Shardul Thakur on batting deep in white ball format


There’s no rocket science behind Shardul Thakur’s success as a cricketer so far. He can get crucial wickets with the ball, often against the run of play. And he can score runs lower down the order. Just like he did in the first ODI against South Africa. Thakur dismissed Janemman Malan and Temba Bavuma and scored 33 runs off 31 deliveries in the chase of 250, which India fell short of 9 runs eventually.

“If you see the teams who have done very well on the international platform, their batting lineup has been quite deep,” Shardul said in a media interaction ahead of the second ODI.

“For that matter Australia, if you see Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, they bat at number eight and nine. Even for that matter England. Even their batting lineup is deep. Why not the Indian team? Even we can have our batting lineup deep and make that difference in the game. The difference of 15-20 runs which can be crucial in winning the match, especially in white ball format.”

Further explaining his role with the bat, the 30-year-old, “I’ve been focusing on batting since quite a long now. Obviously batting at number seven or eight or even the one who’s coming on nine, if he can add few runs to the team’s total it’s always great. That gives you cushion to defend the total or if you are chasing then it allows the top order batters to play freely.”

Thakur, who made his comeback in the Indian squad after featuring in the India A series against New Zealand, was excluded in the squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“Nirasha bilkul hai (the disappointment is definitely there),” he said when asked about the same. “It’s a player’s dream to play in a World Cup and also win it with the team. It’s okay if I didn’t get selected this time. There’s a lot of cricket coming ahead. The One Day World Cup is upon us as well. So my focus would be on performing well in all the games that I play ahead.”

The bowling all-rounder is however, confident of the Indian team that arrived in Australia on Friday.

“Ye team bhi koi kam nahi hai (This team is no less),” he said.

“I think balance-wise our team is very good. The variety is good. Different kinds of spinners, fast bowlers and batters. If you ask me about recent times, we’ve created history every now and then. We’d created history the last time we played in Australia as well,” added Thakur who scored a fifty and picked a 4-fer in India’s Test win at the Gabba last year.

Not just India’s, other bowlers are leaking big as well

India’s bowling has leaked big in the ongoing home season. In the last six T20Is that were played against Australia and South Africa, India conceded above 200 fifty percent of the times. And while the hosts looked in control during the first ODI in Lucknow with the Proteas four down for 110, David Miller and Heinrich Klassen’s 139 run partnership off 109 deliveries changed that.

Thakur however believes it is crucial to look at the opposition numbers as well while assessing India’s bowling woes.

“Baaki ke bowlers jo khelne aa rahe hai India mai, unko bhi maar pad rahi hai (The other bowlers who are coming to play in India are conceding runs as well),” he said.

“If you criticise the (Indian) bowlers from the T20 series against South Africa, then you should criticise the South African bowlers as well because the series was won by us. Maar toh unke bowlers ko bhi padi hai. I think before asking about the consistency, we need to look at the pitch and the conditions. There are times when we play One Day games where more than 350 runs are being scored. In those games all the bowlers are definitely going to get battered but is the opposition able to score those runs?”

He also elaborates on how those part of India’s ODI squad may take time to hit their stride, wearing India’s blue after a gap.

“The boys are playing are in the team after a long time. Ishan (Kishan) has made a comeback. I’ve played after a month and half since the Zimbabwe tour, Shubman (Gill) was playing red-ball cricket in England. So all the boys here have come after a gap of a month or more barring Shreyas (Iyer), who just played the T20 (vs South Africa). He has scored good runs. Sanju (Samson) was playing with India A. He scored as well. I was also playing for India A and batted well.”

“There’ll be the odd days when you don’t score many runs and that can happen when you are playing after a gap. In the games to come, the team will perform well in all three departments,” Thakur concluded.





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