Who is India's Latest Test debutant Shardul Thakur?
Shardul Thakur is the latest Indian player to get a Test cap in the ongoing Test series against West Indies. The hard-working pacer was born in Palgarh, Maharashtra, and travelled to Mumbai to pursue his dream of making it big as a cricketer. The winner of the Ranji Trophy with Mumbai, Shardul came to the limelight when he had five 5-wicket hauls and picked up 48 wickets in the 10 matches he played during the 2013-14 season.
The fast bowler still struggled to get the call-up from the national selectors due to widespread talent. However, he finally got his moment of glory when he was included in the 2016 Test squad travelling to the West Indies in 2016. The 26-year-old had taken 8 wickets in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy final to help his team to victory. One of the wickets included that of Cheteshwar Pujara. Despite such exploits, he was not given the elusive Test cap in the 2016 Test series against West Indies.
He is not suited to T-20 cricket as has been proved by his average stats in the Indian Premier League. Shardul has represented 4 teams -- Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Rising Pune Supergiants, and Mumbai Indians -- but failed to make a mark for any of them.
The best thing about Shardul is his constant improvement and his never-say-never attitude. He never gave up and kept working on his skills even though he did not get a chance to play for the national team.
With the ability to swing the ball both ways, and to get the extra bounce off the pitch, it will be interesting to see how the youngster performs in his maiden Test.
The speedster made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka on August 31, 2017, and has 6 wickets in the 5 ODIs he has played for the Men in Blue. The Palghar-born player also has 7 national caps in T20Is. However, his numbers in the shorter format of the game are forgettable. In the 7 T20 matches he played for India, he took 8 wickets but had an economy rate of 8.80.
Let us get to know more about Shardul as he gets his first Test Cap.
Hard working ethos
Shardul has had the ethos of working hard right from the beginning of his career. As he hails from Palghar, a town which is roughly 87 km from Mumbai, he would take the early morning train with a heavy kitbag with him to train -- every single day. The training was held at 7:30 AM and Shardul would wake up at 3:00 AM to catch the 3:30 AM train.
Dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara
The dismissal of one of the most respected Test batsmen in the final of the Ranji Trophy is indeed a very special moment for the 26-year-old. Many critics deemed that delivery as unplayable.
Can swing the ball both ways
This can prove to be an added advantage to any bowler if they have this ability. One of the best examples is that of Jimmy Anderson. It would be great to witness an Indian fast bowler reaching the heights which the English player has reached.
Usually the benchwarmer
Despite being a talented player, there have been many occasions when Shardul just had to spend his time on the bench. He played for Kings XI Punjab in only 1 match in the two editions he was with them. Meanwhile, he did not get a Test cap during his first international call-up in the series against West Indies in 2016. Shardul will be delighted that this has finally changed in the ongoing Test series against the West Indies.
The speedster is fondly known as the Palghar Express, courtesy the region he hails from. His lethal outswingers are feared in the local circuit.
Shardul becomes the 294th Indian player to get a Test cap. The big question lies -- will his Test debut be as impressive as that of Prithwi Shaw? Share your opinion in the comments section below.