With the ball, Shardul Thakur makes things happen. Every time the right-arm medium pacer is pressed into action, there’s anticipation: He more often than not brings a wicket or two. And with the bat, if he gets going, runs flow. He can hook, pull and drive with such ease that would make a top-order batter proud.
So what does Thakur think of himself as: a bowler who can bat or a batter who can bowl? “Frankly speaking, I don’t think about whether I’m a bowling allrounder or batting allrounder,” Thakur said while speaking to the broadcasters ahead of the start of Day 3 of the 3rd Test between India and South Africa in Cape Town.
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He continued, “It’s all about creating an impact when I’m out there and do something for the team. At the end of the day, I want my performance to be counted in a way that it helps the team to win.”
India finished the second with 57/2 and an overall lead of 70 runs in their second innings. With three days still remaining in the series-decider, Thakur feels it’s anybody’s game.
“I think the game is evenly poised. It’s totally a second innings game now and there is a lot of time left in the game. There is still some life in the pitch and help for the bowlers. The batters can also score runs, so it can go anywhere,” he said.
The pitch has maintained its nature throughout the opening two days with bowlers never out of the game. However, batters have been rewarded for showing patience as India captain Virat Kohli and South Africa’s Keegan Petersen has proved by leaving plenty of deliveries.
“We’ve talked about the pitch a lot, there is something for the bowlers but like I said earlier, if you play good cricketing shots, you can score runs. I think to bat well in the third innings is the key, and then take it from there. I don’t have any specific number (target) but looking at history, any score over 300 will be hard to chase,” Thakur said.
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