Shardul Thakur, speaking on Sports Today, said he had genuinely wished Mohammed Siraj a 5-wicket haul in the 2nd innings of the Brisbane Test, saying he was praying that he shouldn’t drop the catch when tailender Josh Hazelwood hit one in the air towards the 3rd man region.
In the second innings of the Brisbane 4th Test, there was a race between pacers Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj as to which of the two bowlers would get to their maiden 5-wicket Test haul. Australia were already 9 down and both Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur had picked up 4 wickets apiece up until then.
Shardul Thakur Was Genuinely Wishing From Bottom Of Heart So That Mohammed Siraj Get His Maiden 5 Wicket Haul
With tailenders Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood trying to add quick runs, both Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur were going full tilt trying to pick the final wicket as soon as possible. As it turned out, Josh Hazlewood tried to hit one over the slip cordon but he found the third man fielder, Shardul Thakur who completed the catch to help Mohammed Siraj pick up his maiden 5-wicket haul.
Speaking to Sports Today, Shardul Thakur said he was genuinely wishing teammate Mohammed Siraj took the 5-wicket haul and paid tribute to his late father. Shardul Thakur added Mohammed Siraj’s words about his father were going through his mind and he was praying that he doesn’t drop the catch that came his way.
In a heartwarming moment, Shardul Thakur was seen elated for his teammate who was leading the team off the ground after picking up his maiden 5-wicket haul.
“People were watching us that we’re both on 4 wickets apiece [Siraj and Thakur]. We were both chasing a [maiden] 5-wicket haul. When I was bowling, all I could think of is if I take 5 wickets then it will be for the team. To be honest, I was wishing from the bottom of my heart that Siraj gets his 5-wicket haul because it was a very emotional time for him,” Thakur said.
“When the catch came to me, I was praying to God that this catch should not be dropped at any cost. It had rained as well before so the outfield was wet too, so I was praying that I must take the catch because that would complete his 5-wicket haul as he was so fulfilling his father’s dream of him playing for India.
“I had Siraj’s words about his father in mind, who was watching us from up above, and he would be very happy after the 5-wicket haul. When he completed his five-for, I was genuinely very excited for Siraj. It was his maiden 5-wicket haul in Tests and it was a dramatic end to the innings, I was extremely stoked for him.”
Notably, pacer Mohammed Siraj was leading wicket-taker for India in 4 Tests, picking up 13 crucial wickets in 3 matches after staying back in Australia despite his father’s death in November. Mohammed Siraj found himself leading a rather inexperienced pace attack in 4th Test at Brisbane.
The combined bowling experience of the Australian bowling line-up in the Brisbane Test (Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Nathan Lyon) was 254 Tests. The number for the Indian bowlers (Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar) was 9 Tests but India won.
Shardul Thakur: It Was Difficult And Emotional Time For Him As He Couldn’t Fly Home Despite Father Passing Away
Shardul Thakur said he had seen first-hand the efforts put in by Mohammed Siraj who was practising hard during the limited-overs series despite not being part of the white-ball squad and the mental battle he was going through after losing his father at the start of the Australian tour.
“When we reached Australia, we had set camp in Blacktown [city in Greater Western Sydney, Australia]. His father was quite ill and hospitalized and was fighting for his life. Then in a few days time his father passed away and the entire Australia series was quite emotional for him. He couldn’t even fly back home,” Thakur added.
“He wasn’t even a part of the ODI and T20I squads, but still he was practicing with the team throughout. Reality is, the practice hours are just 2 or 3 hours per day, you have to go back to your room. It was very difficult and a very emotional time for him.”
Shardul Thakur had made his Test debut against West Indies in October 2018. However, debut turned into a nightmare as a groin injury forced him to hobble off the field after bowling just 10 deliveries. He kept grabbing key scalps in both innings of 4th Test. He had figures of 3/94 and 4/61.