India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a ‘masterstroke’ by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal

India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a 'masterstroke' by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal
India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a 'masterstroke' by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal

India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a ‘masterstroke’ by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal– Indian team management’s decision on Wednesday turned heads when they decided to pick allrounder Shardul Thakur in the playing XI. And, as expected he did not disappoint. He took the crucial wicket of England skipper Joe Root. The latter has dominated all the India bowlers during his vital knock of 64 comprising 108 balls. He finished his bowling with a couple of wickets under his belt as India bowled out England to one of their lowest totals 183 allout.

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India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a ‘masterstroke’ by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal

Former India cricketer Madan Lal feels it was a masterstroke from Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli to include him in the playing XI.

“I would laud Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri for their decision to play Shardul Thakur in the Test. He is a genuine outswing bowler, who constantly moves the ball away from the batsman and troubles them. In English conditions, he is bound to get wickets. According to me, this is a masterstroke. We all saw how Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur bowled in Australia. They were really impressive there as well,” he told Aaj Tak.

“The kind of batting England have at the moment, it will be difficult for them to stand up against India. Our bowlers have the ability to bowl England out cheaply, as they showed today (Wednesday),” he added.

At the end of Day 1, Shardul Thakur spoke about his crucial breakthrough after preventing Joe Root from his 21st century.

“If you see he (Root) had played a few balls and he was playing really well and looked poised for a big score. At that period, getting him out was crucial for us and we got him. Really happy on getting Root’s wicket. One of the top batters in the world, whether you get him in the 60s or 90s it’s always a good wicket to have,” he said.

“If you look at the pitch it looked like it won’t spin much and felt better to go with 4 pacers and one spinner combination. Enjoying the English conditions, it’s swinging and hopefully, it will stay the same. We got good pitches to practice in Durham and really enjoyed the conditions there,” said Shardul during the post-match conversation with the broadcasters.

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Shardul Thakur as all-round option

The right-handed batsman had impressed with his timely fifty during the India tour of Australia. His cover drive will be mouthwatering to watch in the upcoming contest. He slammed his maiden fifty at The Gabba, Brisbane as India breached Gabba to defeat Australia at the venue after a long gap of 32 years. Relive some of the extraordinary shots.

Fill up for Hardik Pandya’s absence

The presence of a pace-bowling allrounder will give India an edge over England. Last time, Hardik Pandya took a five-wicket haul and contributed with the bat with a fifty when India won at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Shardul Thakur can fill the void by adding extra runs to change the context of the game. He can grab the opportunity and seal the place in absence of Pandya. Notably, Shardul has scored 7 half-centuries in a first-class career.

India vs England, 1st Test: Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in playing XI a ‘masterstroke’ by Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, says Madan Lal

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