Indian pacer Shardul Thakur rings his 28th birthday on Wednesday. Born on October 16, 1991, the right-arm bowler hails from a small village in Maharashtra. Thakur is a popular name in the Indian cricket and is a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. In his early days, the right-arm quick was regarded as a Test bowler. However, the pacer worked on his variations and proved his mettle in all the formats of the game. At present, Thakur has represented India in all the formats of the game and has also displayed some glimpses of his vast potential. However, injuries have plagued the cricketer, thus hampering his place in the national side.
Shardul Thakur made his international debut in August 2017 and has been in and out of the side. The youngster has claimed eight and six wickets in 7 T20Is and 5 ODIs respectively. The lad also got the opportunity to represent India in whites. However, the youngster sustained a hamstring injury in his second over and was ruled out of the match. Apart from international matches, Thakur has done fairly well in the Indian Premier League (IPL) too. In the cash-rich league, Thakur has taken 36 wickets in as many outings. So, on the occasion of Shardul Thakur’s 28th birthday, let’s look at five of the best spells bowled by the speedster.
4/52 Against South Africa in Centurion
After warming the benches in the first five matches, Shardul got a chance to play in the sixth ODI of India’s 2018 Tour of South Africa. Bowling first, Thakur showed no signs of rustiness and rattled the opposition batting line-up. After dismissing the openers with the new ball, Thakur displayed his ability in the death-overs too. Thakur took four wickets in the match and the hosts were restricted to 204. The chase proved to be a cakewalk for the Indian batsmen as they crossed the target with eight wickets in hand.
4/27 Against Sri Lanka in Colombo
Thakur’s other brilliant spell came against Sri Lanka in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy. On the Colombo track, India won the toss and elected to bowl first. The decision proved to be fruitful as Thakur restricted the Sri Lankan batsmen by taking wickets at regular intervals. Thakur bagged a four-fer and Sri Lanka were restricted to 152. In reply, the Indian batsman produced a clinical performance and won the match by six wickets.
3/34 Against Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Bengaluru
Playing for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in IPL 2017, Thakur produced a brilliant spell against the star-studded Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) line-up. Defending 161 in the second innings of the match, Thakur dismissed Mandeep Singh for a three-ball duck. After his heroics with the new ball, Thakur troubled the opposition in the death overs as well. In total, Thakur took three wickets and the Pune side won the match by 27 runs.
3/18 Against Kings XI Punjab in Pune
IPL 2017 was the breakthrough season for Shardul as he bowled some magnificent spells in that season. In the match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Thakur joint forces with Jaydev Unadkat and took the Punjab batsman by storm. Thakur, in particular, took three wickets in the match and KXIP were bundled out for mere 73 runs. In reply, the Pune batsman didn’t put a foot wrong as the hosts won the match by nine wickets.
5/39 Against Baroda in Vadodra
Thakur was at his prime in the 2014-15 season of Ranji Trophy. Representing Mumbai, the speedster produced an astonishing performance against Baroda in the group-stage clash. After scalping just one wicket in Baroda’s first innings, Thakur made an impeccable comeback and took five wickets in the last innings of the match. The youngster’s effort proved to be crucial as Mumbai won the match by 169 runs.
These performances of Thakur certainly display the volume of the player. With the ICC World T20 2020 just a year away, Thakur will hope to be fit and produce some stellar performance in the domestic circuit. Thakur already has a fair amount of experience in IPL and a successful stint in the 2020 season can seal his spot for the mega tournament next year.