With two half-centuries in the fourth Test and three wickets over two matches, Shardul Thakur has already scored more runs than Ajinkya Rahane and taken more wickets than Ravindra Jadeja in India’s tour of England. The tail-ender, on Sunday, put up another fine show, scoring 60 runs in 72 balls.
Batting at No 8, Thakur counter-attacked the English bowling attack, hitting seven boundaries and one six during his stay at the crease. The Chennai Super Kings player along with Rishabh Pant stitched a 50-run partnership to take India’s lead past 250 runs.
As soon as, Thakur raised his bat, Twitter flooded with fans and experts praising him for a the ‘magnificient’ hand he played. Hashtag #LordShardul has been trending on the micro blogging website.
India’s legendary opener Virender Sehwag described Shardul Thakur’s knock as a ‘Teacher’s Day’ gift.
Here are some reactions:
While Thakur smashed the bowlers all over the park, Rishabh Pant showed required restraint while returning to form as India reached a commendable 445 for 8 at tea on day four of the fourth Test.
India took their overall lead to 346 and anything in the range of 350 will be a Herculean task for the home team to chase down on a fifth day track, which has shown some signs of turn.
India did encounter another mini middle-order collapse as they slumped from 296 for 3 to 312 for 6 in a space of 10 overs in the first session but Thakur (60 off 72 balls) and Pant (50 off 107 balls) joined forces to add 100 runs for the seventh wicket.
While Shardul, who is fondly called ‘Beefy’ by team’s head coach Ravi Shastri for his Ian Botham-like exploits, is reinforcing his value as a bowling all-rounder. His three straight drives were as good as any of the shots that his illustrious seniors Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara hit on the third day.
It was sight to behold as he picked an Ollie Robinson (32-7-105-2) slower early and dispatched it over long-on to reach 49 and then a pull shot for a single helped him complete his fifty.
Shardul Thakur was dismissed off Ollie Robinson.