Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur [PC: ICC via Getty]

Last Update on: June 6th, 2023 at 08:07 pm

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Shardul Thakur, the 31-year-old Indian pacer, is well aware of the significance of representing his country in the ICC World Test Championship Final. Despite feeling like a familiar face in the Indian setup, Shardul Thakur has only played eight Test matches so far, making this upcoming match against Australia at The Oval in south London a crucial opportunity for him.

Shardul Thakur expressed his determination to make the most of every opportunity he gets while wearing the Indian jersey. Being selected for an ICC Final is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and he is fully committed to making it count.

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Representing India is always a special moment, and Thakur acknowledged the privilege of being chosen among the best 15 players in the country, considering the dreams of millions who aspire to play for the nation.

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“I feel that ICC event finals especially, you don’t get to play them everywhere each and every year, so it’s, for a few players or somebody like me, a once-in-a-lifetime moment, All that I want is to make it count. It’s always a special moment when you’re representing your country – especially India, when there’s a billion people out there who dream of playing for the nation and only the best 15 have been chosen to represent the country,” Thakur shared with the ICC, emphasizing the significance of the event.

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It’s Good To Remember Your Previous Performances: Shardul Thakur

In the previous series India played in England, Shardul Thakur showcased his skills in three Test matches, taking eight wickets and scoring two fifties. The Oval, the venue for the World Test Championship Final, holds special memories for Thakur.

In that match, he played a crucial role, rescuing India with a counter-attacking 57 off just 36 balls in the first innings. He also contributed an excellent 60 runs in the second innings, supporting the lower-order batsmen. Thakur’s bowling performance was equally impressive, as he troubled England’s top order and claimed the wickets of Ollie Pope, Rory Burns, and Joe Root.

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Reflecting on his previous display at The Oval, Shardul Thakur acknowledged the importance of drawing motivation from past performances. However, he recognized that each game is a fresh start and that the opponents are different this time around.

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“It’s always good to remember your previous performances on a particular ground, but every game is a fresh start.  It’s different opponents this time around, but yeah it’s always good to take motivation from what you’ve done in the past on a particular ground.”

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The final playing XI for India has yet to be confirmed, as Rohit Sharma mentioned in a media conference. However, Shardul Thakur is likely to be in contention as the third fast bowler due to his ability to swing the ball and contribute valuable runs down the order. There is also a possibility of India opting for a four-pronged seam attack, which would further enhance Thakur’s chances of being selected.

“I think England is challenging because the weather here is a bit funny,” Thakur said. “When the sun’s out it is good for batting, when it’s overcast it’s good for bowling, so the toss hardly matters, it’s all about the cloud cover.

“Obviously the pitch also plays an important role, but we’ve seen in the past that whenever there’s cloud cover the ball suddenly starts swinging and you can’t really predict how much the ball is going to move, so that’s one of the biggest challenges that a batter faces.

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“When it’s not swinging England’s also got the best pitches to bat on, so it becomes equally tough for bowlers. Even in the helpful conditions it’s sort of important to find the right length to nick a batter off or hit his pads, so this is a country that’s challenging.”

As the ICC World Test Championship Final draws near, Shardul Thakur’s determination and past performances make him a strong contender for a spot in India’s playing XI. The match holds immense importance for him, and he aims to seize this opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the grand stage of international cricket.

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