Shardul Thakur emerged as a hero for Team India on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth Test against England at Kennington Oval in London.
Thakur walked in to bat when the visitors had lost six wickets for just 117 runs. Soon India lost only other recognised batter, Rishabh Pant, to go seven down for 127 runs. However, Thakur went for the counter-attack and thrashed English bowlers all around the park to take India’s total to the 191-run mark.
The 29-year-old scored a remarkable 57 off just 36 deliveries with the help of seven fours and three humungous sixes. During his sensational batting display, Thakur accomplished a very special milestone as well.
The Palghar-born reached his half-century off 31 balls and broke the record of legendary England all-rounder Ian Botham, who had smashed the fifty from 32 deliveries. Upon returning to the change room, Thakur didn’t just get appreciation from his teammates for the magnificent batting effort but also got teased for surpassing the record of Botham.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the host broadcaster, Thakur, revealed that he wasn’t aware of Botham’s record. He said his teammates tease him with Botham’s name, but it feels good to be compared with England great.
“I was not aware of it (breaking Ian Botham’s record). But it’s always good to score important runs for the team. Yes, these guys are teasing me with his name. But I think it’s good to be compared with the greats of the game,” said Thakur.
The Mumbaikar also shared thoughts on his counter-attack batting display, stating there is no right way of scoring runs as one needs to put runs on the board irrespective of how they come. Thakur said he was connecting the ball well, and that’s why he kept on going for it.
“When Rishabh got out, it was important for me to play such an innings. There are two ways, either you can be patient and bank on the partner to score runs or go and hit it. But at the end of the day, you have to score the runs. I think there is no right way of scoring runs. Runs are runs. Today was a day where I could connect properly. So I kept going for the runs,” added Thakur.