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Focusing on basics helps Shardul Thakur lead the way for Mumbai

Zaheer Khan's last season's suggestion to invest in the talented Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur is finally reaping rewards.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur 

The 23-year-old pacer is living up to his potential after claiming 23 wickets — the most in the Ranji Trophy so far after four matches. He has also not made Mumbai feel the absence of injured Zaheer and Dhawal Kulkarni, currently in Australia with the Indian team.

Thakur, who is into his third first-class season, has particularly impressed with the control and accuracy of the red cherry coupled with pace.

According to Mumbai skipper Suryakumar Yadav, Thakur has not been wayward this season which he was a couple of years ago. So how did the transformation take place? "I have been focusing hard on doing my basics right.

That could be one of the reasons for the improvement. When I first came into the Ranji Trophy squad (2012), I was a bit confused on how to bowl. You could get away with bad balls in the U-23 and U-19 levels, but not at the first-class level," Thakur told mid-day
yesterday.

McGrath's tips helped
Last September, Thakur attended a 10-day camp at the MRF pace foundation in Chennai with Glenn McGrath. "Although the session was short, it was a huge learning curve. I made some minor changes in my bowling arm and run-up. McGrath also shared his experience of preparing for a match," said Thakur.

Thakur's batting has also been a revelation this season. He smashed a career-best 87 against Uttar Pradesh in Mumbai's only outright win. "I am determined and hungrier than ever to succeed," Thakur signed off.

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