Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

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Aakash Chopra had reservations with Shardul Thakur getting picked for the 2nd Test. However, the cricketer-turned-commentator was happy to see the latter’s stellar all-around show at The Wanderers.

Unlike the Centurion Test, Team India struggled a bit in Johannesburg where they lost the second match by 7 wickets. The batters didn’t score enough to challenge the hosts and as a result, Dean Elgar-led South Africa managed to level the series 1-1.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Shardul Thakur Pick Of Indian Bowlers

Despite the loss, there were some individual performances that entertained the viewers. One of them is pacer Shardul Thakur whose brilliant spell in the first innings gave India an outside chance to win. The fast-bowling all-rounder bagged 7/61 to help India restrict the hosts to a relatively small lead of 27. Also in the second innings, he played a quick cameo of 28 runs, helping the hosts set a 240-run target.

Speaking in his latest YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “Shardul Thakur has been the pick of the Indian bowlers, rather the Indian players, in the second Test match. Personally, I was one of those guys who asked questions.”

Shardul Thakur. (Credits: Twitter)
Shardul Thakur. (Credits: Twitter)

Shardul Thakur’s terrific spell (7/61) in the first innings brought India back in the game but as of now, he holds an unwanted record. 7/61 is the best figure in losing cause for any visiting bowler in South Africa.

Aakash Chopra: Phenomenal Shardul Thakur Turned The 2nd Test Match On Its Head By His Inspiring Spell

Aakash Chopra further explained why he had doubts about Shardul Thakur’s place in the team.

“If he is not scoring runs and is not picking up wickets in any case because if you are the fourth bowler, you don’t get the bowling. In fact, even when he took seven wickets, he bowled just one ball in the first 35 overs. So, if you are not introduced in 35 overs and you are not able to score runs, which was the case in the first two or three innings, your place in the team is in question because then you will play a fourth fast bowler,” Chopra said.

Mohammed Siraj Injured Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
Mohammed Siraj Injured Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“But then, he just turned this Test match on its head by that inspiring spell. He took seven wickets, which is a huge achievement. After that, he scored crucial 28 runs with the bat because of which India got a lead of 239. So, in my opinion, Lord Thakur is absolutely phenomenal,” Chopra added.

Before his enterprising knock in India’s second innings of the Johannesburg Test, Shardul Thakur had scored just 14 runs in his previous three knocks. Although he took a couple of wickets in the Boxing Day Test, he didn’t look too threatening with the ball.

Shardul Thakur had to shoulder additional responsibility in the Johannesburg Test due to Mohammed Siraj’s hamstring injury. The seam-bowling all-rounder rose to the occasion and caused more difficulties for the Proteas’ batters than India’s frontline pacers – Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.