'I noticed line and length he bowled, tried to execute same'- Shardul Thakur credits Mohammed Siraj for match-winning performance in 2nd ODI

India beat Zimbabwe by five wickets in the second ODI to seal the series.

Shardul Thakur
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Shardul Thakur (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

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Shardul Thakur was exceptional with the ball in hand during the second One Day International against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday, August 20. He asked some tough questions to the Zimbabwe batters who failed to read his line and length as the hosts were bundled out for just 161.

After his match-winning performance, Thakur explained how he took cues from his pace bowling partner Mohammed Siraj by carefully watching the latter’s line and lengths initially. It was Siraj who provided the first breakthrough for India when he accounted for opening batter Takudzwanashe Kaitano in the ninth over. Kaitano went back to the pavilion after scoring seven runs off 32 deliveries.

I just tried to figure out the difficulties for batters: Shardul Thakur

Both Siraj and Thakur were interacting with each other in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). During that interview, Siraj asked Shardul what his strategy was for the second match since he did not play the series opener, to which the bowling all-rounder replied, “Before I came in first change, I noticed the line and length you bowled and tried to execute the same. I just tried to figure out the difficulties for batters. I tried to keep things simple, nothing else”.

Replying to Mohammed Siraj’s question of how he succeeds in providing breakthroughs every time he comes to bowl, Shardul Thakur said, “I am always looking for wickets, and god is also kind that I am picking up wickets. If I take wickets, it will obviously be beneficial for the team.”

Thakur accounted for the likes of Zimbabwean skipper Regis Chakabva, Innocent Kaia, and Luke Jongwe, which completely broke the backbone of the visitors. He finished with figures of 3/38 from his seven overs at an economy of 5.43.

The bowling all-rounder’s splendid display might not have earned him the Player of the Match award, but would have certainly boosted his confidence. Thakur would be looking to take this confidence forward when both teams lock horns in the third ODI at Harare on Monday, August 22.