After Shardul Thankur’s superb knock of 60, VVS Laxman has praised the all rounder claiming that he has all the shots in the book. Laxman, who played with a lot of tail-enders in his career, went as far as to suggest that Shardul can be preferred over Ravindra Jadeja for the role of an all-rounder.
Shardul Thakur played a marvelous knock of 60 runs off 72 balls on the fourth day of the Oval Test. Thakur came to the batting crease when the Indian team had a lead of 211 runs. However, courtesy of his knock, the Indian team found themselves in a great position with the lead at 311 when Thakur was finally dismissed. Laxman praised the knock played by Shardul and expressed his joy and delight about the innings.
"Credit to Shardul Thakur. Hats off to him. First innings, he was the saviour for the Indian team, and now in this innings as well. Some of the shots he played… all round the park… the cover drive off Moeen Ali, the pull shot, the straight drive, the lofted drive… he’s got all the shots in the book. A very good display of batting from Shardul Thakur," Laxman said on ESPNCricinfo.
The English team was bundled out for 290 in the first innings with Umesh Yadav leading the charge and finishing with a final tally of three wickets. Thakur was not very effective for India with the ball as he leaked 54 runs taking a single wicket from his 15 overs in the first innings. Speaking about his performance Laxman did not think that he would be an automatic pick in the squad. Interestingly, he said that if management wants to give Shardul a place in the playing lineup, they can prefer him over Jadeja as an all-rounder.
"I would always go for bowlers who are penetrative. For me, the top seven are expected to contribute with the bat so the bowlers I would pick are going to be the ones who can pick up wickets. Thinking about it more, suppose you want to have Shardul Thakur in the team, then probably Jadeja, the all-rounder, may miss out," explained Laxman.
Laxman also added that as Kohli is not getting too many overs from Jadeja, Thakur can contribute more. He said that the Indian cricketer can bowl a few overs and contribute with the bat at No 7 as well.
"India or Virat Kohli are not getting too many overs from Jadeja and Shardul Thakur can contribute with the bat like we have seen in this Test match. Then you have four quality and effective bowlers who can get you wickets and Shardul Thakur might as well bat at No. 7. So that is an option Virat Kohli can look at," commented Laxman.