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"Shardul Thakur bowled the best among all the Indian bowlers" - Zaheer Khan

Shardul Thakur scalped three wickets in Australia
Shardul Thakur scalped three wickets in Australia's first innings of the Brisbane Test.
Kartik Iyer
Modified 16 Jan 2021

Former India pacer Zaheer Khan has said that Shardul Thakur was the best Indian bowler on view in Australia's first innings of the ongoing Brisbane Test.

The Mumbai fast bowler, playing only his second Test, accounted for three wickets to help India dismiss Australia for 369 runs. However, he was slightly expensive, as he was taken for almost four runs per over.

During a discussion on Sony Sports, Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Kaif shared their views on Shardul Thakur's bowling performance.

Zaheer Khan observed that Shardul Thakur reaped the dividends of bowling fuller lengths.

"The spell he bowled at the end of the first day was very good. He bowled the length that is required for the wicket. He continued with that today, bowled a little further up, and because of that only he got the wickets. His strength is to swing the ball."

Zaheer Khan said Shardul Thakur, who went for a few runs, needs to pay more attention to his field settings, apart from taking wickets. However, the former left-arm pacer praised Thakur for being the most impressive Indian bowler in the Brisbane Test.

"But one thing he needs to keep in mind is that when he comes in the second innings, he should take the support of the field. If you see where he has conceded runs, it was when he was hit straight down the ground. So, if you push the mid-off little further back and strighter, then you can stop those fours. Once you stop those fours, your analysis will also look like that. Other than that, I feel he bowled the best among all the Indian bowlers."

"I was expecting a little more from Shardul Thakur" - Mohammad Kaif

Shardul Thakur got a wicket with his first delivery in the Brisbane Test.
Shardul Thakur got a wicket with his first delivery in the Brisbane Test.

Mohammad Kaif reckoned Shardul Thakur should have stuck with bowling a fuller length, as he had Tim Paine caught by Rohit Sharma in the slips off a pitched-up delivery.

"He was a little short. He got wickets when he bowled full. Tim Paine got caught in the slips, where Rohit Sharma took the catch. So he had made up his mind today, but in between at times he bowled the short ball or at the good length. This pitch is not the one to bowl on the good length."

The former player said Shardul Thakur does not have the pace to trouble batsmen with bouncers, and the length deliveries in the bouncy Gabba surface go over the stumps.

"When a pitch has bounce, the good-length ball goes over the stumps, so you are not making the batsman play. So you want the batsman to drive the ball, the way Tim Paine got out. Yes, you need to set the field. But at times he looked confused by trying to get wickets with a bouncer but for that you need pace. No batsman gets out of a 135 kph bouncer in today's time."

Mohammad Kaif observed that Shardul Thakur seemed a little unsure of his plans despite his vast experience in first-class cricket.

"So, there was a little lack of patience seen there, and he was a little confused with his game-plan. And I was expecting a little more from Shardul because he is the most experienced among all the bowlers when you talk about first-class; he has played around 60 matches while the others are very young."

Shardul Thakur got the wickets of Marcus Harris, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins with full-length deliveries in Australia's first innings in Brisbane.

However, he conceded a few boundaries straight down the ground off pitched-up deliveries, as the mid-off and mid-on were wide. When he bowled short on a few occasions, the batsmen feasted due to Shardul Thakur's lack of pace.

Published 16 Jan 2021, 21:32 IST
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