Shardul Thakur's childhood coach Dinesh Lad reckons that his ward should get a place in the side for the WTC finale due to his all-round abilities. He also added that the team needs fast-bowling all-rounders and someone like Shardul should get a long-run if the team wants him to perform well.
As poorly as the 2021 IPL went for Shardul Thakur, no one can deny that he has been one of the leading players for India at the highest-level this year. He started off 2021 with his Gabba heroics where he not only made a crucial fifty but also took seven wickets in the game. Not only that, he ended up as the leading wicket-taker in both the T20I and ODI series against England at home, providing the team crucial breakthroughs as and when needed. Given the dearth of pace bowling all-rounders, Thakur has emerged as a valuable asset for the side across formats.
He has also been selected for the England tour and can come handy given his ability to swing the ball and make runs lower down the order. In fact, his childhood coach Dinesh Lad is of the opinion that the Mumbai all-rounder should play the WTC finale given he can come good both with the bat and the ball.
“As a coach, I would want Shardul to be given preference in the WTC final based on how he has been performing of late. He can swing both the ball and bat, and it will be a plus point for India to let Shardul fill that all-rounder’s role. But again, everything depends on the team management and coaches,” Dinesh Lad said, reported HT.
Lad feels that India lacks fast-bowling all-rounders, and hence it is even more crucial to give more opportunities to someone like Shardul as he will perform well when given a long-run.
“He will definitely get preference in the long run because India are currently lacking in all-rounders. Hardik Pandya was playing as an all-rounder but now he is not able to bowl because of injury. Teams need fast-bowling all-rounders and there is only Shardul Thakur in the queue. But in order to perform well, he needs to get a long run of matches,” Lad explained.
Due to the cancellation of this year's IPL, Team India will be getting more time to prepare for the World Test Championship finale and Lad reckons that will help Shardul get ample practice.
“They have some 10-12 days window before the first match, so he will get ample time to practice and get used to the conditions. And he recently played against England, so I don’t think he will have any problem. I have just one funda, I have always told him to make the batsman play without thinking about movement, because the batter will make a mistake but in order to make that happen, he needs to be enticed to play.”
He also outlined that Shardul is well-equipped to handle pressure situations like he showed in the Gabba Test where had combined with Washington Sundar in an important partnership.
“He has the ability and hence reached that level, so he just needs to hold a particular line and length to get wickets. He has also learnt to handle pressure, like how we saw him bat in pressure situation and help India win in Brisbane. He did a few batting sessions with me during the off season. Like Rohit, Shardul is also a naturally attacking player. But he has worked on his patience and now started playing shots along the ground as well,” he signed off.