Shardul Thakur registered his best Test figures in the second Test in Johannesburg taking 7/61. This is also the best figures by an Indian bowler against South Africa in Test matches. Despite Shardul’s heroics with the ball and with the bat, India lost the Test match and the series was level at 1-1. The final Test match in Cape Town begins on January 11 in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, former South African cricketer JP Duminy has drawn parallels between Shardul Thakur and Vernon Philander. Philander, who was one of the great exponents of swing bowling for the hosts is currently a part of the commentary panel for the Test series with Supersport. Duminy said that both Shardul and Philander are very similar in the way they use the pitch to their advantage coupled with their accuracy.
“I’d liken Shardul to someone like Vernon Philander. The reason why he comes to mind, I think about how he goes about getting his wickets. There was a crack he utilised to his advantage in the first innings. But what’s impressive is the ability to wobble the seam but be consistent with your lines and length. You’re allowing the surface to be your variation,” he said.
Shardul Thakur’s 7/61 also made him the second bowler to take a seven-wicket haul against the Proteas after Harbhajan Singh. Duminy further praised Shardul saying that he can swing the ball more than Philander did in his playing days.
Shardul Thakur Can Swing The Ball More Than Vernon Philander Did: JP Duminy
“When the ball lands on each side of the seam, it could move in different directions or it keeps particularly low or bounce towards the batter. This was something Vernon was immaculate at. He used to say, he kept the ball in a certain way and I get that impression with Thakur as well. The added advantage is that he has the ability to possibly swing the ball a little more than Philander.”
The Indian all-rounder eventually finished the second Test with eight wickets which is the joint-second most by an Indian bowler in a Test match in South Africa. He also scored a crucial 28 in the second innings that helped India get to 266.
The Indian team is expected to have few changes in the third Test with skipper Virat Kohli lined up for a comeback.