Mumbai boy Shardul Thakur impresses with 4-70 during South Africa's warm-up tie against Board President's XI
Shardul Thakur played a couple of India 'A' matches in August, but it was his Saturday's performance against South Africa at the Brabourne Stadium that left an impression.
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Shardul Thakur (centre) of Board President's XI celebrates the wicket of SA skipper Hashim Amla on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Thakur (24), representing Board President's XI, finished with 4-70 in 16 overs which included the big wickets of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis. "This is my best bowling performance in this season compared to what I have bowled in the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai. The conditions were helpful in the morning and I made full use of it," said Thakur, who has taken 14 wickets for Mumbai in four Ranji Trophy matches so far.
After dismissing South African opener Stiaan van Zyl and Simon Harmer on Day One, the Mumbai pacer made most of the morning freshness to leave the visitors in tatters. In the fourth ball of the first over of the second and final day, Thakur managed to trap SA's T20 International skipper Faf du Plessis in front for four.
Four overs later, he posed South Africa's Test skipper Hashim Amla all sorts of problems. He bowled a couple of bouncers to start off with and then bowled a length ball before a fast, full length ball took the leading edge of Amla's willow to Karun Nair at first slip. A shocked Amla departed for one as his poor form continued.
Amla's form, not a concern
SA coach Russell Domingo, however, wasn't too concerned with the Test skipper's form. "It is not a concern for me. Every player goes through a phase. A big knock is around the corner," he said.
Thakur, who finished the last Ranji season as the highest wicket-taker, said he is hopeful of his selection into the Indian team. "My job is to perform. Selection is not in my hands. With these kinds of performances, I am hopeful of getting a chance to play for India. Playing against quality opposition gives you a clear picture where you stand," Thakur said.