Team India bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur continued to build his reputation as a reliable strike bowler by giving India three crucial breakthroughs in a quick interval against New Zealand. Courtesy of his efforts, the hosts won the third ODI against New Zealand comfortably by 90 runs at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday, January 24.
The Men in Blue batted first in the contest after losing the toss. Rohit Sharma (101) and Shubman Gill (112) hit flamboyant centuries to power India to a daunting total of 385/9. Hardik Pandya (54) added the finishing touches to the innings.
In response, New Zealand lost Finn Allen in the very first over as Pandya cleaned him up for a 2-ball duck. Devon Conway (138) and Henry Nicholls (42) put on a 106-run partnership for the second wicket to bring the Kiwis' side back into the thick of things.
Kuldeep Yadav broke the threatening stand in the 15th over by dismissing Nicholls and giving India a timely breakthrough. Daryl Mitchell (24) then joined Conway and put their side ahead in a massive chase.
With 184/2 on the scoreboard after 25 overs, New Zealand were in a great position. Shardul Thakur came into the attack and scalped Daryl Mitchell and Tom Latham in the 26th over to stun the visitors.
In his next over, Thakur also dismissed the dangerous Glenn Phillips to put India back in control of the proceedings. The Kiwis' chase was derailed from there and they were eventually bundled out for 295 in 41.2 overs.
Speaking at the post-match presentation after winning the player of the match award, Shardul Thakur said:
"Everyone is here to play cricket and at some point, they are going to come after you. But when they come after you it is important to stay in the moment and not get too ahead of yourself. So at that point, I had to tell myself to execute the same ball next time.
"As a cricketer, you have to be ready for all situations. You have to be ready to bat or bowl at any time. Everyone enjoys batting. In the modern-day world it is all about batting, don't you think so? (grins)."
Fans react to Shardul Thakur's Player of the Match performance in 3rd ODI between India and New Zealand in Indore
Cricket fans enjoyed a high-scoring encounter between the two top ODI teams on Tuesday. They took note of Shardul Thakur's impressive all-round performance in the game and expressed their reactions by sharing hilarious memes on social media platforms.
Here is a collection of the best reactions:
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