Shardul Thakur was finally rewarded for his consistently good performance in the domestic circuit when he was included in the 17-man squad for the four-Test tour of the West Indies in July-August. Shardul Thakur, who has established himself as the spearhead of Mumbai’s attack, has been one of the consistent performers for Mumbai in the last couple of Ranji Trophy seasons.
Let us take a look at some interesting facts about the young Mumbai pacer:
1. Shardul Thakur was born in Maharashtra’s Palghar district on October 16, 1991. However, the pacer opted to represent Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy instead of Maharashtra and made his debut during the 2012-13 season under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.
2. He is fondly known as the Palghar express in the Mumbai circles.
3. He was once dropped from the Mumbai Under-19 squad for being overweight.
4. Thakur did not have an easy beginning as he used to travel from Palghar to the southern tip of Mumbai every day by train – a journey that used to take three-and-a-half hours one way – to play cricket. His day used to begin at 3.30 am so that he could catch the 4 am train to make it to the ground by 7.30 am.
5. He had a very disappointing inaugural Ranji season as he could pick up only 4 wickets from as many matches at an average of 82. Thakur was dropped midway but, he made a comeback in the semi-finals and gave a brilliant performance. Eventually, his team won the Ranji Trophy by thrashing Saurashtra in the final.
6. He was the joint highest wicket-taker along with R Vinay Kumar in the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season with 48 wickets.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. He was also the second highest wicket-taker for his side in Ranji Trophy 2013-14.
7. Thakur grabbed headlines for the first time when he smashed six sixes in an over in the Harris Shield. This was the first instance where six sixes were hit in Harris Shield and he became the third player after Gary Sobers and Ravi Shastri to achieve this feat.
8. Playing for the Board President’s XI, he bagged a four-wicket haul against the touring South Africans, his wickets including those of Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla.
9. Also a useful contributor as a lower order batsman , Thakur has two First-Class fifties, both coming against Uttar Pradesh in different seasons. His highest score is 87.
10. Despite being one of the most consistent bowlers in the domestic circuit, Thakur could play only one match in IPL in 2015 before being released by his franchise Kings XI Punjab mid-way through the 2016 season.