Shardul Thakur has thrown himself into the limelight following his spectacular performances with both the bat as well as the ball at The Oval Test against England. He scored two half-centuries across both innings to put India in a commanding position with the bat. He also took crucial wickets, including that of England captain Joe Root in the final innings to seal the match for Team India who have now taken a 2-1 lead in the series.
Naturally, the expectations will increase on Shardul Thakur. Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who has had his fair of share of experiences with the burden of being called the ‘next Kapil Dev’ has urged fans and the media to be cautious about it when it comes to Thakur. The onus is on managing him nicely.
“We’ve to be smart enough to manage him nicely. By that, I mean that we don’t put added pressure on him by promoting him from No 8 to No 7. Right now, he’s shown signs of being a good, handy lower-order batsman. He’s a very, very good No. 8 batsman at the highest level,” said Irfan Pathan.
Irfan Pathan has also reminded everyone that Shardul Thakur is still a relative new-comer in international cricket. He has to deal with many more situations like the one he faced in The Oval Test against England. Time and experience will help him get better and understand his role well. Only then does it make sense to hype him up.
“In modern-day cricket, it’s not just about No. 7…You need a guy who bats well, a match-winner at No. 8 as well. With a guy like Shardul at that slot, you may not need a top-quality allrounder at No 7. Let him settle in this position, and get better, and then put extra pressure on him.
Don’t put high expectations on him, when he may not be yet ready to bat at No. 7. You’ve to be cautious about it. As of now, let things remain as they are and give him more matches at no.8. Let him grow as a cricketer.”
Irfan Pathan also complimented the 29-year-old from Palghar and said that he gives it his all everytime he plays. His bowling and work ethics are remarkable. But he should also be allowed the space and time to grow naturally.
“There’s a lot to like about him — his bowling action, work ethics. He tries to give it all whenever he plays. He has contributed outstandingly in England so far… However, don’t jump the gun in calling him an all-rounder or not calling him one. Let’s be patient with him. Just give him some time and space. Let him be a contributor for some time, and we can call him (an all-rounder) when the time comes. Don’t hurry,” concluded Irfan Pathan.