3 times Shardul Thakur turned the game around for India in ODIs

New Zealand v India - 1st ODI
Shardul Thakur has the knack for delivering game-changing spells.

Shardul Thakur has shown his worth as a valuable asset to the Indian side on a number of occasions now, ever since making his mark at the Gabba in Australia in 2021.

The bowling all-rounder is affectionately referred to as 'Lord' by his teammates and has a knack for making things happen, be it with bat or ball.

Despite conceding a few runs on some occasions, Thakur somehow manages to work his magic to get India out of the hole on most occasions.

He did so once more against New Zealand in the recently concluded ODI series, delivering a crucial spell with figures of 3/45 in the final game of the series.

Big moments and game-defining situations somehow manage to find the 'Palghar Express' and he relishes the challenge too, often coming out on the right side of the result.

On that note, take a look at three occasions when Shardul Thakur turned the game around for India in ODIs.

#1 India vs England, 2021

A match-turning spell from Shardul Thakur. Three wickets - Bairstow, Morgan, Buttler - have taken England's WinViz from 81%, to 28%. #INDvENG

India and England played out an eventful three-match ODI series in 2021, with the hosts eventually winning the series 2-1.

It all started in the first game in Pune, with India posting a target of 318 on the board, courtesy of Shikhar Dhawan's 98 and a quickfire half-century from Krunal Pandya.

In reply, England blazed off to a rollicking start with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow putting up a 135-run stand before Prasidh Krishna finally broke the opening stand in the 15th over.

With the visitors still largely in control of the game at that stage, things turned around dramatically once Ben Stokes was dismissed.

With Bairstow steadying the ship alongside his captain, Eoin Morgan, England seemed to be rebuilding nicely. However, their resistance was broken when Thakur dismissed the opening batter for 94.

He then followed it up with a double whammy, dismissing Morgan and Jos Buttler in his next over and completely turning the game on its head.

His short spell of three wickets proved to be a game-changing one for India. The hosts eventually won the contest by 66 runs, with the medium pacer ending with figures of 3/37 from his 6 overs.

#2 Australia vs India, 2020

India win by 13 runs in the final ODI against Australia at Canberra πŸ’₯Hardik Pandya - 92*Ravindra Jadeja - 66*Shardul Thakur - 3/51#AUSvINDC:fox

The Australian Test summer at the end of 2020 was a memorable one for India for more reasons than one. Before the drama of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy got underway, the two teams indulged in an exciting ODI series.

India had already lost the series before playing the third ODI in Canberra, but managed to end the series on a high.

After Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja propelled India to a total of 302-5, the hosts had their task cut out, especially once Marnus Labuschagne was dismissed early.

With Aaron Finch and Steve Smith at the crease, the expectation was that Australia could cruise through to the finish line, especially as long as Smith was in the middle.

As it turns out, one of the best batters didn't last too long against the 'Lord'. Thakur dismissed the dangerous Smith and Moises Henriques in fairly quick succession, breaking the backbone of the Australian middle order.

The short burst from the Palghar Express proved to be crucial in helping India take control and win the game. He eventually ended up with figures of 3/51 in his 10 overs, delivering a crucial performance for his side.

#3 West Indies vs India, 2022

A couple of wickets in quick succession from Shardul Thakur has brought #TeamIndia back in the game.West Indies - 182/3 (33)#PlayBold #WIvIND

In the second match of the three-match ODI series against the West Indies, Axar Patel stole the headlines after his heroic performance with the bat to lead his side to a 2-wicket victory.

Chasing a target of 312, the Indians stumbled for most of the game and were at risk of losing before Axar bailed them out.

But even before Axar could do his thing, India needed some inspiration to pull things back in the first innings.

West Indies were seemingly cruising in the first innings, courtesy of a 117-run stand between Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran, before Thakur worked his magic.

The medium pacer dismissed the well-set Pooran and the dangerous Rovman Powell at the backend of the innings to put a halt to the Windies' momentum.

Thakur also dismissed Hope after the opening batter scored a brilliant century to put his side in control.

If it hadn't been for Thakur's three wickets at the backend of the innings, West Indies would probably have gone on to post a bigger total and bat India out of the game.

In hindsight, this was a game-changing spell from the Kolkata Knight Riders bowler who tends to go under the radar.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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