Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock is in awe of Shardul Thakur after the allrounder produced one of the best Test bowling figures by an Asian in South Africa on Tuesday in Johannesburg. Called to bowl after 37 overs, Thakur, the man with the golden arm, broke two vital partnerships and provided the visitors with breakthroughs at crucial times and eventually finished with outstanding figures of 7/61.
His long spell was a combination of consistency and variation, and it helped India limit South Africa to a 27-run first-innings lead. Pollock says Thakur’s wicket-taking ability stems from his confidence, usage of the bowling crease and a sound game plan.
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In a conversation with Cricbuzz after Day 2 of the Johannesburg Test, he said, “There must be a self-belief in Lord Thakur, with the way he’s performed.”
He continued, “A brilliant 7/61… I think just his angle on the crease was the key to his success here. From wide, he was angling in and getting it to shape away, and then if it didn’t do that, it would sort of nip back and get the batters to play at it.”
According to the former fast bowler, Shardul kept running in, “almost as if he had this magical or real desire to prove a point.”
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He added that the bowler’s game plan that got him his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket was excellent as he didn’t vary it too much but there was the occasional short delivery tossed that did the trick.
India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik stated that Thakur has a “special place” in his heart. He stated that he admires the Mumbaikar since his days in state cricket, when he had a similar flair for breaking crucial partnerships.
He was the guy who used to pick up wickets early, partnership breaker there (Mumbai) as well, so he’s used to this,” Karthik said.
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