Cricket

Aus vs Ind fourth Test | I am no bunny with the bat, says Shardul

Practice pays: The time Shardul Thakur spent honing his batting came in handy on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PATRICK HAMILTON

Shardul Thakur may have looked like an unlikely hero on Sunday after top-scoring with 67 and helping India salvage the situation, but the Mumbai pacer said he was always confident of his batting abilities and was prepared for such a moment.

“I have some batting talent. Whenever the throw-down specialists are available, I practise. These are the moments you train and wait for and you could do something for the team,” said Thakur, who along with Washington Sundar added 123 for the seventh wicket.

Commenting on what the duo discussed, Thakur said, “The idea was to spend some time. We knew their bowlers were tiring a bit. So it was a matter of hanging in there for one hour. We knew we would be on top.”

“When one was playing a rash shot, the other would immediately speak and try to stick to basics,” he added.

Letting the game slip

Meanwhile, Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood, who starred with a five-wicket haul, credited Thakur and Washington and felt the home team let the game slip away.

“We probably did not execute as well as we could have in that period but we created a few little half-chances.

“On any other day, we take those, but credit to those two guys (Thakur and Washington). They batted beautifully and I think it just shows the wicket is pretty good,” said Hazlewood.

The speedster conceded that the Aussie bowlers erred with their line and length, allowing Thakur to score freely. “It is a bit frustrating obviously, when you reduce a team to six-down and are on your way to knocking them over. Credit to him (Shardul). We missed our marking a bit in that little period. Probably bowled a touch short and a bit wide here and there,” Hazlewood added.

The 30-year-old said David Warner will hold the key on day four and would determine how soon Australia can force a declaration to give itself enough time to push for a win.

“It depends on the weather as well. A bit of rain [is] forecast in the afternoon on both days. We will bat normally for the first two sessions and see where we are.”

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 3:38:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/aus-vs-ind-fourth-test-i-am-no-bunny-with-the-bat-says-shardul/article33594950.ece

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