Shardul Thakur, after playing an epic innings in Brisbane, has revealed that a player doesn’t need any extra motivation to do well when the series is at 1-1. The Mumbai player has also added that he and Washington Sundar wanted to use the bounce of the wicket to play strokes in regular intervals.
Shardul Thakur was not in the picture, let alone playing a defining innings at the Gabbatoir. A reserve player, he was added to the squad subsequently but cometh the time, he played an innings that will be remembered for a long long time. His 67 was worth its weight in gold as the duo guided India to safety, reducing the first innings margin to 33, but in the process, ensured that India have everything to play for in the last two days.
On being asked if they needed any extra motivation, Thakur stated that his only intent was to hang in there and not worry about anything else. He added that a player needed no extra motivation if the series is locked at 1-all.
“I have some talent in me while batting. Sometimes, when the bowlers are available, I practise my batting too. I wait for these opportunities to get hold of these chances and put on a show. I was only looking to stay at the crease and play long, to reduce the lead. That was my only intent,” Thakur said at the press conference.
“We weren’t trying to defend a lot. We saw some true bounce in Gabba and if the bowler bowls in the right line and length, we can put those deliveries away. So we were just waiting for the loose balls and aimed to put it to the boundary. We aimed to keep our focus and just do the basics right."
“It is a long tour, as a player, it is always challenging to keep motivated. But with the series tied at 1-1, you don’t need extra motivation. Just look at the past matches, give your 100% to the team and put in your contribution.”
Both Thakur and Sundar were sudden inclusions in the side after the team found themselves walking wounded but that was the tragic fate of luck. As it turned out, they found an unlikely partner in each other, having batted very little with each other in the past but there was no lack of synergy.
“Honestly, I haven’t batted with him much. I think once I batted with him in T20. We weren’t looking at the scoreboard, we just wanted to spend some time in the middle. We realised that their bowlers were tiring. It was really important for us to hang in there and play for an hour. We were constantly communicating with each other when someone was playing a rash shot,” Thakur added.
Nathan Lyon bowled early with the new ball, especially keeping the wicket condition in mind. That plays in Thakur’s mind as he stated that he would discuss with the team management regarding the cracks and how the tactics will be for the fourth day where a lot of rain is predicted.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect Lyon to bowl with the new ball. Their (Australia) bowling unit has bowled a lot, so they were operating in short spells. They were expecting some bounce and turn. Let’s see how it goes, I haven’t spoken to the management (about the pitch). Cracks will open up a bit but I don’t know how much it would affect (the proceedings).”