New Delhi: Indian star cricketer Shardul Thakur gave a thrilling win to India in the fourth T20I against New Zealand Friday. The fast bowler from Mumbai recently celebrated his 28th birthday.
Thakur represents Mumbai in the domestic circuit and has played 13 international games for India. However, he is renowned more for his exploits in the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai. Thakur, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is adding on his India appearances with consistent performances.
Let’s take look 5 lesser-known facts of the Mumbai star pacer:
Palghar Express: Shardul Thakur has made a name for himself with his ability to bowl fast. Thakur is famously known as the ‘Palghar Express’ in Mumbai’s cricketing circles. Born in Palghar, a town located 87 km off Mumbai, Shardul covered the distance each day to get to training. He used to travel for close to 7 hours to and fro, struggling tremendously to make a career for himself in his teenage years.
Shardul’s sixes: Shardul Thakur is a handy batsman to have in the lower order. He has five half-centuries in first-class cricket with 87 against Uttar Pradesh being his best batting performance. His batting first came into prominence in school cricket. Playing for his school Swami Vivekanand International, Thakur hit 6 sixes in a Harris Shield game, joining an elite list of current India coach Ravi Shastri, Sir Garry Sobers, Herschelle Gibbs, Yuvraj Singh and Hazratullah Zazai to achieve this feat!
Dropped for being overweight: Shardul Thakur was not as fit as he is now. In his earlier playing days, he made headlines more for his weight than his bowling. Shardul’s fitness was criticized for his lackluster performance in his debut Ranji season in 2012 when he averaged 82 and picked up only four wickets. However, he trained harder and shed 13 kgs to come back stronger and spearhead the Mumbai bowling attack.
Jersey number controversy: Shardul Thakur stirred controversy after donning the No.10 jersey on his debut. The jersey number associated with Sachin Tendulkar irked fans and he faced a lot of backlash for the same. Shardul had chosen No.10 as it represented his birth month. He later changed it to 54, a number he continues to wear for the national team.
Amongst the wickets: Shardul Thakur announced himself after picking up 48 wickets in the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season. He was the joint wicket-taker along with Karnataka’s R Vinay Kumar. He followed it up with 41 wickets, finishing as Mumbai’s top wicket-taker. Thakur also picked up an impressive 4-wicket haul for the Board President’s XI vs South Africa in 2015. His victims included top South African batsmen such as Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. A call up came soon after and since then, Shardul has been on the fringes of national team selection due to the dominance of the current Indian pacers. However, he would hope that if an opportunity arrives again to play for India, he’d grab his chance as he has done for Mumbai.