IPL 2021: “This game can be a little bit brutal” - Stephen Fleming defends Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur with his teammates after CSK's victory over KKR. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Shardul Thakur with his teammates after CSK's victory over KKR. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Renin Wilben Albert

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming has defended embattled medium-pacer Shardul Thakur after another expensive spell by the bowler on Wednesday.

Shardul Thakur conceded 48 runs in 3.1 overs as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) came hard at CSK during their improbable chase of 221. The pace bowler was hit for three sixes in an over from Andre Russell, which went for 24 runs.

In his third over, Shardul Thakur bowled three consecutive wides as he completely lost his line and length. He, however, kept his calm and ran out Prasidh Krishna to end KKR's resistance.

Despite the bowler's struggles, Fleming has backed Shardul Thakur, saying that the 29-year-old did a good job even if his figures indicated something else. At a virtual press conference following CSK’s 18-run triumph over KKR in Mumbai, Fleming said in this regard:

“About Shardul (Thakur). Yes, this game can be a little bit brutal. He was pretty good. He took over and bowled the death yorkers that you would see from (Dwayne) Bravo. He was able to sort of control things.”

The CSK coach pointed out that bowling at the death is never easy, especially when one is up against big hitters like Andre Russell and Pat Cummins. He added in defence of Shardul Thakur:

“The execution is hard when you have got hitters like (Andre) Russell and Dinesh (Karthik) and (Pat) Cummins at the end. He did well to keep delivering (the yorkers). I think he was good tonight.”

Shardul Thakur’s numbers in IPL 2021 so far

Shardul Thakur has featured in all four games CSK have played in IPL 2021 so far. However, he has managed only three wickets at a strike rate of 27.66 and a very high economy rate of 11.27. Shardul Thakur is also averaging a costly 52 runs per wicket.

The 29-year-old conceded 53 runs while picking up two wickets in 3.4 overs in CSK's seven-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals (DC). Against Punjab Kings (PBKS), he went wicketless and bowled his four overs for 35 runs.

In CSK's 45-run triumph over Rajasthan Royals, Thakur bowled three overs and gave away 20 runs while claiming the wicket of Jaydev Unadkat towards the end of the match.

Edited by Bhargav
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