Shardul Thakur said India had sensed the exhaustion of the Australian frontline bowlers. He also shared how it played a role in his partnership with Washington Sundar in the first innings of the Brisbane Test. The first-time Test batters added 123 runs for the seventh wicket, which set the tone for India’s consolidation in the Test.
With a fine 67 in the first innings and a match haul of seven wickets, Shardul Thakur was one of India’s key architects of the Brisbane win.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon were Australia’s frontline bowlers in all the four Tests, which meant they were bound to get tired. Sensing this, India worked on a strategy.
In an interview after his return in India, Shardul Thakur recalled how the side’s batting coach Vikram Rathour had warned him against playing any silly shot.
“Our batting coach Vikram Rathour said, 'Play the ball as per merit, don’t play any silly shot.' I told Sundar let’s hang around because their bowlers were getting tired. Australia hadn’t given rest to any of their seamers in the entire Test series. It was the same bowling attack playing, and we could sense that they were getting tired. The more they got tired, the easier it would get.
And that's exactly what happened.
We knew we would win: Shardul Thakur
With the series on the line, India chased down 328 on the final day courtesy a gutsy batting display.
Throwing more light on the team’s mood, Thakur said India were always going for the win and they never felt the Test was slipping away.
We all went for a win. As the game got closer, we knew we would pull it off. I think the only time we all had a doubt was in the first innings when we had lost six wickets for some 180 runs."
“When I and Washington Sundar batted and crossed the 300 run-mark, we both saw the scoreboard and felt the lead was not that big. We can pull this game off in second innings if we get them out sooner,” Shardul Thakur further added.
I enjoy playing fast bowlers: Shardul Thakur
In 2006, Shardul Thakur made the headlines by smashing six sixes in an over during a Giles Shield match. Over the years, the Mumbai cricketer gradually made a mark as a pacer, but always backed his own batting.
Crediting playing on uneven surfaces at Palghar and his liking for facing fast bowling, Shardul Thakur further added:
“I told myself that if I can hang around for two hours, I have all the shots to play. I always enjoy playing fast bowlers; I have never been scared of speed. Am not scared to face even 145 kmph plus.
"Maybe it’s because of how my cricketing career started. We have a ground in my village where my first few years of cricket were played on matting wickets. The pitch in Palghar had uneven bounce, so handling bounce came naturally to me.”
Shardul Thakur regularly faces throw downs. His mind always works like a batsman, and he looks for every opportunity to showcase his batting talents. And the first innings at the Gabba was the perfect moment.