Although Shardul Thakur had already made an impact with the ball in the ongoing second Test match at Johannesburg, he came into his own with the bat too when he slammed 28 off 24 balls in the second innings. His late resistance made sure India post a stiff target of 240 runs on board. During his innings, he took the bull by its horns with his ‘devil-may-care’ attitude as he smashed a six and a couple of boundaries to Marco Jansen. But batting didn’t come naturally to Mumbai all-rounder.
India vs South Africa: Full Coverage | Photos | Schedule | Results
One of the commentators, Eric Simmons revealed how the epic 2019 final where CSK lost to Mumbai by a run, changed Shardul Thakur as a person.
“I have to tell the story of Shardul’s batting. It’s a lot to do with his character. He is in the same franchise as I am, with CSK. Two years ago in the IPL final against Mumbai Indians, we needed one of the last ball to tie and two to win. He walked to the wicket, facing Lasith Malinga and he was out last ball of the match LBW. He was devastated to lose that match.”
IND vs SA, 2nd Test: Give Him the ball, a Fighter’s Chance – And Shardul Thakur Delivers
Simmons, who was working with CSK back then, also revealed that he Shardul Thakur sunk in despair, spending him time in a corner.
“He was sitting in a corner for I don’t know how long! That’s his character. Nobody could tell him, nobody could console him… ‘listen it wasn’t your fault’. In fact, he bowled particularly well in that match. The point I am trying to make is what that match did to him. He resolved to go out and make sure ‘that will never happen to me again’. To become the batter that he has… the amount of work he puts in on his batting… even with all the calypso style shots we talk about, there’s a lot of orthodoxy in the way he goes about his batting. It says a lot about the character of the man that he rose from that position,” he said on air.
Shardul became the sixth Indian cricketer to get a Test fifer in Johannesburg. His bowling figures of 7 for 61 – the best by an Indian bowler in South Africa – left the hosts in tatters, bowling them out for 229.
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