Shardul Thakur has revealed that head coach Ravi Shastri boosted his confidence saying he had the talent to take India home in the decider ODI against West Indies at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The No.8 batsman slammed 17 runs off just six balls, as India won the match by four wickets.
Though India’s top three — Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli — did the bulk of the scoring with three half centuries, it was Shardul’s contribution that helped the team over the line in the end.
“When I was going out to bat, Ravi (Shastri) sir told me to take the responsibility and finish the game. He said, ‘I have the talent to do it’. When I was entering the ground, Virat said it would be better to take a single and give the strike to Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja),” Shardul told The Indian Express.
“But fortunately for me, I connected the first ball from the middle of the bat. Jaddu had told me that since the dew had settled, the ball was coming on to the bat nicely. After I hit the first-ball four, the pressure on Jadeja also came down, since the asking rate reduced a bit,” he added.
For the 28-year-old, however, this was not the first time that he had performed with the bat in a crunch situation. Shardul recalled the time when he had formed a similar partnership with Faf du Plessis to take CSK home against SRH in an IPL 2018 match.
“I have finished the game in IPL, Faf (du Plessis) was batting with me then. I had hit a four in that game too. The important thing in such situations is to stay on the crease and rotate the strike. I have been in such a situation before, so it helps, as I know what I have to do,” Shardul said.
“I was part of the team before, somehow I couldn’t fit into the playing eleven. I played a game in South Africa, later played two games in Sri Lanka. Asia Cup I played one game, I have got breaks between games. Positive thing is that I was part of the winning cause. Hopefully, I will get more chances in the future. Every cricketer waits for a day like this. This doesn’t happen overnight, a lot of hard work goes into this. This time it was batting, I hope next time it is bowling,” Shardul added.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi