Cricket

Eng. vs Ind. fourth Test | Shardul lorded over the Oval with aplomb

Rohit Sharma took the ‘player-of-the-match’ award and Jasprit Bumrah produced what pundits called the “spell of the summer” but Shardul Thakur’s role was no less important in fashioning India’s victory in the fourth test against England on Monday.

The team led by Virat Kohli produced a bowling masterclass on a flat deck at The Oval to prevail by 157 runs and go 2-1 up in the five-test series.

India conceded a 99-run first innings lead but Rohit’s century powered them to 466 in their second innings before Bumrah and company dismantled England on the final day.

More spread out

Unlike Rohit and Bumrah, Shardul’s contribution — two fifties and three crucial wickets — was more spread out and with both the ball and the bat.

“I thought Shardul’s was a match-winning effort. To be honest, he deserved the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ as well for the performance he put,” Rohit said after collecting his award.

Put into bat, India was 127/7 when No. 8 batsman Shardul launched a spectacular counter-attack to top-score for his side with 57.

The 36-ball blitz not only lent respectability to the Indian total but also lifted the morale of a team which had been let down by its frontline batsmen.

With the ball in hand, the right-arm bowler dismissed Ollie Pope, whose 81 was the highest score in England’s first innings.

Shardul made a breezy 60 in the second innings and claimed two vital wickets to clear the path for India’s victory.

Chasing 368, England was cruising at 100 for no loss when Shardul dismissed Rory Burns to break the stand.

The 29-year-old, dubbed “Lord Shardul” by fans on social media, effectively sealed the match when he dismissed England’s in-form captain Joe Root for 36.

Impact performance

“If you look at the impact performance we were looking for from the lower middle order, I think what Shardul has done in this game has to be remembered for a long time,” Kohli said.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 12:10:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/eng-vs-ind-fourth-test-shardul-lorded-over-the-oval-with-aplomb/article36346868.ece

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