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New Zealand vs India 2020 | Shardul Thakur heaps praise on Ross Taylor, vows to play with freedom in 3rd ODI

Aakash Arya
Modified 10 Feb 2020, 15:57 IST

Shardul Thakur celebrating a NZ wicket
Shardul Thakur celebrating a NZ wicket

After conceding the three-match ODI series 0-2 to New Zealand, India pacer Shardul Thakur has vowed to play with complete freedom in the third and final ODI at the Bay Oval. Thakur also praised New Zealand's Ross Taylor for his two back-to-back match-winning performances in the ongoing series, even tagging his leg-side game as God-like.

Talking to reporters on the eve of the final ODI, Thakur expressed how awestruck he was at watching Taylor's effortless play on the leg side. According to the Indian fast bowler, any half-chances presented by Taylor should be grabbed with both hands, as it is crucial for the opposition team to send him packing as early in the game as possible.

“Ross is batting really well. He can play like God on the leg side once he is in. In the last two ODIs, there were chances of us dismissing him, but we did not grab our chances. It is important to send him back early in the innings.”
Ross Taylor celebrating his century
Ross Taylor celebrating his century

After thrashing New Zealand 5-0 in the T20I series, the Indian team has come back down to earth with the ODI series defeat. But Thakur is still upbeat about his team's approach going into the dead rubber.

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He explained how the team would still play with freedom despite going down 0-2 in the series, and would try to get the best result possible from the remaining match.

“Every match is important. Just because we are 0-2 down, this does not mean that the final match is not important. Every international match holds a key. We are 0-2 down. We can express ourselves and we will play with freedom.”

Talking about the relatively shorter boundaries in New Zealand, Thakur stated that bowlers have their task cut out while planning their strategies. But he also added that once their initial plans are executed, they gain in confidence and try to bring in more variations to keep the batsmen guessing.


"The dimensions here are quite different. It is important to understand them when you come to New Zealand. Every ground has a shorter boundary on one side and bowling plans change according to them. It is difficult to play cricket here because of the ground dimensions.” 
"I think wherever you play, bowlers get the benefit of setting the field, as the bowler knows where he will bowl. The confidence develops when you keep executing your skills, my rhythm feels good right now. I am focusing on the process and not on the outcomes.”
New Zealand v India - ODI: Game 1
New Zealand v India - ODI: Game 1

Thakur himself was quite expensive in the first ODI, and although he was slightly better in the second, he would look to improve further as the series winds down. The CSK player hasn't cemented his place in the national side yet, and he would hope to do that by coming up with significant contributions going forward.

Published 10 Feb 2020, 13:35 IST
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