One of the fastest bowlers of all time, Jeff Thomson was a scary sight for every batsman in his playing days. He always meant business on the field and off the field, Thomson is no different. So when asked which Indian bowler impressed him in recent times, instead of giving a mixed reply, he said: “Other than Shardul (Thakur), I haven’t seen any other bowler.”
Talking in detail about Thakur, the Australian Cricket Hall of Famer said: “I have seen him bowl and he has been pretty impressive. He can bowl on flat pitches and take a lot of wickets and clean up teams. I am sure if he is picked in the playing XI in the West Indies, he will impress and do better than the others,” he said.
Thakur had two strong showings in successive Ranji Trophy seasons. In 2014-15, he finished as the joint highest wicket-taker with 48 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 20.81. He followed that with 41 wickets in the 2015-16 season, the highest for Mumbai, to help the side clinch its 41st Ranji Trophy title.
Thomson, who is in the city to train bowlers as part of Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) collaboration with IDBI Federal Life Insurance’s Bowling Foundation,felt that this program has been very instrumental in efforts to groom young talent in the country.”I take great pride and honour in being part of the MCA IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation, yet again. We have had a tremendous response from future fast bowlers of India in the previous sessions, and I’m enjoying the ongoing training session with the fast bowling talent of this season,” Thomson said.”We found a bit more talent this year than last (in September), especially with younger kids 16 upwards which is pretty young for fast bowlers.
“I can feel the difference over the last one year. They are so much fitter and faster. These kids are rookies picked from poor areas, not gifted with money. You got to be a little crazy to become fast bowlers, need to dislike batsmen and should be prepared to do the hard work in these kinds of temperatures. We have not even touched the tip of the iceberg.”