Cricket’s transformation to coloured jerseys happened in the late 1980s. And since then, without much debate and respecting every great ODI cricketer, no jersey has been as iconic as Sachin Tendulkar‘s No. 10. And when a Palgarh-born cricketer donned the legendary number, quite naturally, was bound to garner huge attention. And responsibility. Just ask Indian bowler Shardul Thakur.
The iconic number, that too on his debut match. But like most cricketers rising from the domestic circuit, Thakur’s rise to success has not been a straightforward one. It has been a journey of sheer hard work, patience, perseverance and some luck. Although he is yet to cement his place in the starting XI, the number on his back speaks volumes about expectations from Shardul Thakur. Let’s get to know more about him…
28 (as of 2020)
Date of Birth
16 October 1991
Narendra Thakur, Hansa Thakur
August 31, 2017 vs Sri Lanka
October 12 , 2018 vs West Indies
Right arm Fast bowler
Teams Played for
India, India A, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Tata Sports Club.
Shardul Thakur Biography
Shardul Thakur was born to Narendra Thakur and Hansa Thakur in the small town of Palgarh, about a hundred kilometres from Mumbai.
He completed his schooling in Anand Ashram Convent English High School, Palgarh but later came to Swami Vivekanand International School, Borivali. Later, he completed his higher studies from the University of Mumbai.
Shardul Thakur Career
His interest in education and studies were nowhere close to that in cricket and he had proved his talent since school cricket. He has an uncanny record for a bowler, of hitting 6 sixes in an over in a Harris Shield match and remains the 3rd player to do it.
The most sought-after fast bowler in Mumbai cricketing circles had a very modest start to his domestic career. The “Palghar Express”, as he is fondly known, had numerous tiring days which started with waking up at 3.30 in the morning.
A 3-hour journey to the southern tip of Mumbai for numerous days was a regular part of his life.OD The training at his club started at 7.30 am in the morning.
Setbacks continued to occur; he was dropped from the U-19 Mumbai squad due to weight issues. He struggled and finally made his debut for the Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in November 2012 against Rajasthan in Jaipur.
Picking up figures of 1/82 proved it was quite underwhelming. He played 3 more matches that season and picked as many wickets at an average of 82.
He weighed 83 kg, a heavyweight for someone of his height and his fitness was no way close to that of an athlete. Shardul had to make a transformation.
Also read: Virat Kohli hairstyles
And he did it. In the next season in 2013, he shed 13 kgs and returned to play for Mumbai. Leaner, meaner and fast, he picked up 27 wickets in 6 matches at 26.25 with one 5-wicket haul.
He upped his game, even more, to take 48 wickets in 10 matches with five 5-wicket hauls and finished as the joint highest wicket-taker, along with Vinay Kumar in Ranji Trophy 2014. The 2015-16 season was another successful campaign for Shardul.
Mumbai won their 41st Ranji Trophy, while he picked up 41 wickets at an average of 24.5. He had two 5-wicket hauls, including one, when he picked 8 wickets in the final match against Saurashtra.
Two good domestic seasons and an India call-up was bound to come. He had established himself as one the premier fringe bowlers.
Probably the most polarising day of his career. The date was 31 August 2017, ODI against Sri Lanka and Shardul Thakur makes his debut. What is so special about that? Well, he is donning the iconic number “10” jersey.
The iconic number was worn, got popular and reached legendary status when donned by the “God of Cricket“, Sachin Tendulkar.
He had a decent debut, registering a 1-26 in 7 overs. But the number on his jersey led to a lot of controversy and fans were not happy. They took him to the task and also questioned the cricket board’s respect towards Sachin and his fans. Social media was flooded that day, with Thakur being criticised for this move.
He switched his jersey number to 54 and has played 6 more ODIs since then taking a 4/52 in his third ODI. That remains his best return to date.
He, just like in his domestic career has proved that he can be handy at times with the bat too. He has a top score of 22* and also scored 17* runs of 6 balls against West Indies to seal the recently-concluded series for India.
T20 and IPL Career
Shardul’s debut for India in T20s came against South Africa in February 2018 and took 1/31 in 4 overs. His best figures of 4-27, came in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy which won him the “Man of the Match” award and India, the match.
He has bagged a total of 11 wickets in 9 matches at an economy of 8.41 runs per over. He has to improve his figures or else he will have to lose his place to bowlers like Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini.
His IPL career began in a modest way, when he was bought by Kings XI Punjab in 2014 IPL auction for 2 million. He was quite expensive in his debut, taking 1-38 in four overs against Delhi Daredevils.
After an unimpressive campaign, he was released by KXIP and was visibly upset with that. He was picked up by Rising Pune Supergiants and this is where his career changed in T20s atleast.
He gave a return of 11 wickets in 12 matches and was on the right path under the able leadership of MS Dhoni.
In 2018, he came to Chennai Super Kings and formed a formidable bowling partnership with Deepak Chahar. He has taken a total of 24 wickets in 23 matches and has been used in the death overs as well.
Despite showing promise in the domestic circuit, he has just been unlucky to not play much test cricket. A major reason is obviously India’s furious frontline pace battery which has kept him on the fringes.
He was twice selected in the Test squad before making his debut, in 2016 against West Indies and in 2018 during the one-off test against Afghanistan but did not play.
Thakur finally made a debut to forget, against West Indies but could bowl just 10 deliveries before suffering from a groin strain.
Bowling Style of Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur is a slightly different kind of bowler than most Indian pacers. Playing their home matches in Wankhede, most Mumbai pacers develop a good swing. But, Shardul is more of a “hit-the-deck” bowler and has a very accurate bouncer.
Over the years, he has matured and under MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming in IPL has developed his bowling in T20s massively. He now possesses few good variations, a very good slow ball and an outswinger being the prominent ones.
With his ability to swing the ball away at around 140 kph, it becomes very difficult to read him. Although he has been slightly leaky across formats, he has shown growth, especially in IPL.
Shardul Thakur Unknown facts
- Shardul Thakur is great friends with fellow Mumbai batsman, Siddhesh Lad and was coached by his father, Dinesh Lad.
- Sachin Tendulkar is his favourite cricketer (No surprises there!).
- He loves to have seafood.
- Shardul Thakur is a handy lower-order batsman with 6 first-class half-centuries and a highest score of 87.