Shardul Thakur believes that getting Bairstow out was the turning point on Day 1, following which the tide turned in India's favour. He also expressed delight in picking up the wicket of the English skipper Joe Root, who scored 64 runs and looked very promising at a period in the match.
India dominated England in the opening day of the Test match at Nottingham with the ball and the only batsmen who looked promising were Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. The early wickets added pressure on the middle-order batsmen but the duo started slow and, as the game progressed, flowed as they added runs to the scoreboard with ease. Root and Bairstow looked solid in the crease and looked like taking the team to a safe zone. But Shami dismissed Bairstow in the 51st over, after which the momentum swung in India’s favour. England lost their last 7 wickets for just 45 runs, and were bowled out for 183, despite being 138/3 at one stage.
Shardul Thakur, who was a part of India’s four-pronged pace attack on Day 1, claimed that Bairstow’s dismissal was the turning point in the day.
"Bairstow was poised well to score a fifty so getting him out at that period was crucial. At that period, getting him out was crucial for us and we got him," said Shardul Thakur.
The English middle-order faltered after Bairstow’s dismissal, but skipper Root waged a lone battle. Root stayed put at one end, and looked set to score a century, before Thakur ended his resistance on 64 to put England in deep trouble.
Root’s wicket was Shardul’s first in the Test match, and the right-arm pacer expressed delight over taking the wicket of the England skipper, who he described as ‘one of the top batters in the world’.
"Really happy (on getting Root's wicket). One of the top batters in the world, whether you get him in the 60s or 90s it's always a good wicket to have."
India faced selection conundrums ahead of the Test match, and made a bold yet controversial decision ahead of the game to leave out lead-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin has been in fine form and also impressed in the County Championship, where he took a five-wicket haul representing Surrey. Thakur revealed that he got the nod ahead of Ashwin as the management felt the wicket would not have enough purchase for spinners.
"If you look at the pitch it looked like it won't spin much and felt better to go with 4 pacers and one spinner combination. "
Playing his third Test match, Shardul ended the day with figures of 2/41.