Former India National Cricket Team opening batsman Aakash Chopra has showered praise on the medium pacer Shardul Thakur for playing a key role in India’s victory over New Zealand in the first ODI at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad on Wednesday, January 18.
Batting first, India posted a huge total of 349/8 in 50 overs with the help of Shubman Gill’s double ton. Chasing the target, New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 131/6.
However, Michael Bracewell played a terrific knock and gave a mighty scare to India. In the end, the equation came down to 20 off 6 and Shardul Thakur was bowling the final over to Bracewell. On the first ball, the Kiwi all-rounder smashed a six, the second ball was wide and on the next ball, Thakur trapped Bracewell plumb in front of the wickets to bundle out the Black Caps for 337.
In a video shared on his official YouTube channel, Chopra hailed Thakur for nailing a perfect yorker to dismiss Bracewell. He elaborated:
“20 were required off the last over. The first ball was hit for a six, the second ball was wide and we felt that they might be scored. But when everyone feels it is going to happen, Lord (Thakur) says it won’t, that he had raised everyone’s expectations slightly but we only will win in the end.
“Lord got a wicket with a yorker, which was actually a good ball. Shardul gave 50 in seven but had two wickets in his account. The most important wicket was when he dismissed Michael Bracewell in the end. Lord hai to mumkin hai.”
He plays ODI cricket and picks up four wickets daily, it’s like that – Aakash Chopra lauds Mohammed Siraj
The cricketer-turned-commentator further heaped praise on the right-arm pacer Mohammed Siraj, who bowled brilliantly at his home ground and finished his spell with the figures of 4/46. Chopra stated:
“Mohammed Siraj had almost sealed the game in your favour towards the end. He picked up two wickets in one over and took wickets at the start as well, he took as many as four wickets. It has become just Mohammed Siraj things these days.
“He plays ODI cricket and picks up four wickets daily, it’s like that. Shami gave 70 runs in 10 overs, Mohammed Siraj – 46 in 10, Hardik Pandya – 70 in seven but he picked up an extremely important wicket.”