Want to give more depth to Indian batting: Shardul Thakurtext_fields
Ranchi: Indian pacer Shardul Thakur wishes to contribute more to Indian batting, giving the department more depth. He has cited Australian pacers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, who manages the tail end of the team's batting pretty well.
Thakur had played well, scoring 33 runs and shared a 93-runs with Sanju Samson in the sixth wicket against South Africa in the first ODI. However, India lost the match by nine runs.
As the second ODI is scheduled on Sunday, Thakur says he is focussing on his batting too, aiming to make a difference in the game.
At a pre-match press conference on Saturday, he said, "If you see teams who have done very well at (the) international level, their batting line-up has been quite deep. Like Australia, for instance, they have the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc coming at 8 or 9. Even for that matter, England. I've been focusing on my batting for quite a long time now. Obviously, batting at No. 7 or the one coming at No. 9, if they can contribute, it's always great. That gives you a cushion."
He added, "We also can have our batting line up deep and make the difference -- the difference of 15-20 runs that can be crucial in winning the match, especially in white ball cricket."
He defended Indian bowlers against criticism for the last loss. He said, "It's not fair to criticise only the Indians, even their (South Africa) bowlers are taken to cleaners. We won the T20I series, but they also were slammed."
"I think before questioning the consistency, we should see how the wicket was, the conditions. Sometimes in an ODI match, more than 350-runs are scored, so in that case, every bowler got hit. There has been no one-sided match for India, be it on a batting or a bowling-friendly pitch, most have been competitive. We have won most matches and showed consistency," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, SA's Keshav Maharaj said that with the talent India has, they could bring four to five proper international teams.
"I wouldn't say it's a second-string Indian side. India is blessed with so much talent that they could probably field four to five proper international sides. A lot of the guys in the Indian team have IPL and international experience. Shikhar Dhawan has played numerous ODIs; Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson -- the talent that's in the Indian team, I wouldn't look at it as weakened. They are still world-class performers out there," Maharaj said.