Shardul Thakur is only four matches old in Test cricket, but even in such a short time, he has helped India register two famous victories on overseas tours.
At The Gabba in Brisbane, his 67 run knock at the No 8 spot in the first innings and seven wickets in only his second match helped India beat Australia for a 2-1 series victory earlier this year. At The Oval, he made two fifties and snared three wickets as India turned the tables on Day 5 of the fourth Test to take a 2-1 series lead against England.
His recent all-round heroics, however, could only get him a place in India reserves for the T20 World Cup as the selectors opted for five spinners in the 15-member squad. Thakur has so far played in 22 T20I matches and 31 wickets at an economy rate of 9.11. He has scored 69 runs at an average of 34.50.
In an interview with Times of India, Thakur stated that he was "little disappointed" to not see his name in the main squad.
"Yes, I am a little disappointed. It's everyone's dream to play and win the World Cup for your country," he said "If you talk about the Oval Test, then yes, it (my performance) was (in) red-ball format. But if you see, I have done well in both the departments in white-ball cricket too over a period of last two years. Now I'm a part of the reserves for the World Cup, so I guess I have to be ready. I can get a call-up at any moment."
The Mumbai cricketer was also shocked by Virat Kohli's sudden decision to step down as India's T20I captain after the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
"It's quite surprising. I wish he had continued (as captain after the T20 World Cup too), but he has done the job for India since the past few years. So according to him, maybe it's time to move on as the India T20 captain. I haven't had the opportunity to speak to him. I would like to congratulate him on his time as the India T20 captain, but only after we win this World Cup. Till then, he is still our captain," Thakur said.
Thakur added that Kohli has been supportive and always motivates the players to give their best.
Dismissing the label of a specialist all-rounder, Thakur said " My job is to score runs when I am batting and take wickets when I am bowling."