England vs India: Shardul Thakur's cameo gives the Indian innings a push

Thakur became the first Indian batsman in the last two matches to hit a six.

England v India - 3rd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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In the third and the final One-Day International between England and India started off in favour of the hosts as they were able to restrict power-packed Indian lineup for 256 runs in their quota of 50 overs. Having been asked to bat first by English skipper Eoin Morgan, the visitors didn’t start off well, losing the man-in-form Rohit Sharma early in the innings. While most of their batsmen didn’t manage to time the ball well, an unexpected name in Shardul Thakur hit sixes towards the end of the Indian innings.

The pitch offered some bounce and lateral movement at the start with overcast conditions acting as a cherry on the cake. However, in the second half of the Indian innings, it was more like a sub-continent wicket which assisted the spinners and as the ball got old, it was gripping and not easy for the big hitter to play their shots. The surface offered turn and that also created more problems for the batsmen.

Shardul Thakur played a crucial knock

Moreover, the England bowlers did exceptionally well, bowling within the line of the off-stump, giving absolutely nothing away. In tough conditions, Indian captain Virat Kohli managed to score play a run-a-ball 71-run knock, also being the highest scorer in the Indian innings. Few cameos coming at the back end from the wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni and tailenders who managed to chip in with invaluable runs.

Interestingly, the one who stood out and took the Indian total from not so competitive to moderately competitive was Shardhul Thakur’s cameo. He smashed 22 runs off just 13 deliveries at an astonishing strike-rate of 169.23. His innings was laced with two mighty sixes, which also helped India to break the unwanted record of not having scored a six in two consecutive innings.

Having over 250 runs on the board, with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bowling at their best, it won’t be a surprise if England have to fight it out to get over the line in this final ODI. Suresh Raina can also chip in to give some important overs in the middle. On the other side, it will be interesting to see as how the England team approaches to this total.

Here is the video of Shardul’s cameo:

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