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Jeff Thomson has told me to be aggressive: Shardul Thakur

Australian coach Jeff Thomson wants new Team India entrant Shardul Thakur to be himself on the forthcoming Test tour to the Caribbean

Former Australia pace terror Jeff Thomson dished out just the kind of tonic young Shardul Thakur needed before undertaking his maiden tour with the Indian team. Mumbai's Thakur (24) was picked recently in India's Test team for next month's tour of the Caribbean.

 Mumbai's Shardul Thakur in full flow during a Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium last year. Thakur is part of Virat Kohli's Test team which will tour the West Indies. Pic/mid-day archives
Mumbai's Shardul Thakur in full flow during a Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium last year. Thakur is part of Virat Kohli's Test team which will tour the West Indies. Pic/mid-day archives

Thomson, the face of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA)–IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation, yesterday advised Thakur to be aggressive especially at times when wickets are hard to come by.

"He (Thomson) told me to be aggressive - aggressive in my mind - in order to get batsmen out especially when I am not getting wickets. That is when your character is tested, he said. He asked me to continue doing things which have worked for me," Thakur told mid-day, after receiving a memento from Thomson for being picked in the Indian team yesterday.

Thomson wants Thakur to study the West Indies batsmen carefully and spot their weakness. "Shardul has lot of talent. He is as good as anyone else. If he can bowl as well as he has done here, he can clean up a lot of batsmen. Don't be surprised if he gets a game and does better than the others," said Thomson.

Jeff Thomson
Jeff Thomson

It's 38 years since Thomson played a Test in the Caribbean, but his teammates, cricket fans there as well as his opponents remember a fiery spell he bowled in the second Test at Barbados in 1978 when he was deputy to Bob Simpson. Australia were bowled out for 250 on the first day and Thomson, who later admitted being quite "cranky" with his depleted team (the cream of Australian cricketers were playing World Series Cricket) being at the receiving end of the hot stuff sent down by the WI quicks, decided to let it rip.

Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes walked into bat in the last part of the day when Thomson unleashed his thunderbolts to have the West Indies reeling at 71 for three. According to Wisden of 1979, "Greenidge was caught at slip off the glove; Richards at long leg off a top-edged hook; Kallicharran at short leg off the glove. In between, all were struck by balls which climbed steeply off the pitch.   

Dropped off Thomson from a mistimed hook before he had scored, Richards decided on an all-out counter-offensive. "He hooked him for 6 and 4, lifted him overhead for another 4, and appeared to have won the day with 19 off a nine-ball over when Thomson snared him with the last ball."

Young bowlers to tour Oz
Meanwhile, MCA-IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation's pacers David Mathais, Prisith Krishna and Tushar Deshpande have been selected to get further coaching at the Australian Cricket Academy in Brisbane shortly.

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