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‘I Always Think About Wickets’: Shardul Thakur Training Hard With ODI World Cup in Sight

Last Updated: August 15, 2023, 10:56 IST

Shardul Thakur is in contention for the ODI World Cup. (AFP Photo)

Shardul Thakur is in contention for the ODI World Cup. (AFP Photo)

Shardul Thakur reckons his bowling has helped him improve as a batter and says he’ll be very happy if selected in the ODI World Cup squad.

It’s been over five years since Shardul Thakur made his India debut and he has steadily gained a reputation of a bowler who gets the wickets when his team needs them the most, a man with the golden arm.

From being a swing bowler, Thakur has added more variations to his bowling repertoire. He’s one of the prime contenders to make it to the ODI squad for the World Cup that starts in less than two months’ time.

Thakur, 31, says he’s continuously in search of wickets as they not only they can prove to be game-changing but also reduces pressure from his fellow bowlers.

“I always think about wickets whether it is the first over or the last,” Thakur told Hindustan Times. “I believe that wickets are game-changing. I may concede a four but if I can get a wicket, it can make it easier for other bowlers. So, everyone has a certain role to play in a team. Right now, I am looked at as a bowler who will go after wickets.”

The competition for a pacer’s slot is intense. With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj expected to lead the pace attack and allrounder Hardik Pandya expected to share some of the burden during the world cup, Thakur knows he will have to offer much more than his bowling.

And that is exactly what he’s been doing and working on.

Lower down the order, Thakur has often made significant contributions with the bat and with his ability to play the big shots, the team management could be tempted to play him considering the depth he will add to their batting order.

“I am not someone who has played 50 ODIs and 50 T20Is. Even in the last IPL, I didn’t bat much,” Thakur said. “With more opportunities, you will see me deliver more and more with the bat. My bowling has helped my batting. I can guess what a bowler is likely to bowl. My confidence comes from the effort that I put in to bring my A-game to the table. I prepare hard. With the ball too, whether I am asked to be the third seamer or a frontline seamer, I am ready for it.

Thakur say he’s already started preparing for world cup and will be pleased as punch should he make the cut for the ODI showpiece.

“I am a confident guy. If I make it to the team, I will be the happiest person. Everyone wants to lift the World Cup. Right now, we have some time off to train hard. I have started preparing already,” Thakur said.

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