Shardul Thakur, the talented all-rounder of Team India, has emerged as a strong contender for a spot in the 2023 World Cup squad. Despite his impressive performances in the recent ODI series against the West Indies, Thakur remains focused on contributing towards the team’s success rather than dwelling on individual accolades. With his ability to pick up crucial wickets and make vital contributions with the bat, Thakur has undoubtedly caught selectors’ attention as they finalize the World Cup squad.
In a press conference following India’s triumphant 2-1 victory in the ODI series against the West Indies, Thakur spoke about his role in the team. As an all-rounder batting in the lower order, he understands the significance of his role in accelerating the scoring rate or consolidating the innings when needed. Thakur recognizes the importance of the No. 8 and No. 9 positions in contributing alongside batsmen who have batted deeper, making his role crucial in shaping the team’s fortunes.
“As an all-rounder who bats in the lower order, my role also becomes important. We’ve seen in longer chases, or if you want to post a big total, you will look to accelerate and lose one or two wickets here and there. If the No. 8 and No.9 can contribute with someone who has batted deep, that role is really important,” the 31-year-old said.
Thakur’s selfless approach is evident in his focus on team success rather than personal achievements. He emphasized that whenever given an opportunity, his primary goal is to contribute to the team’s triumph through his batting, bowling, or fielding skills. The 31-year-old reiterated that he does not play for a place in the team but prioritizes the team’s interests to ensure their success.
“Whenever I get an opportunity, I just try and contribute towards the team’s success. That’s my thought process, whether in batting, bowling or fielding. I’m not the kind of player who plays for his place in the team. If I play with that thought, I don’t think I’ll be able to play,” Thakur added.
With Hardik Pandya being the main all-rounder in the team, Thakur acknowledges the competition for a spot in the World Cup squad. While Thakur’s performances have undoubtedly impressed the selectors, he remains humble and realistic about the final decision. Regardless of whether he makes the cut, Thakur is determined to continue giving his best for the team, displaying remarkable dedication and commitment.
“Even if they [team management] don’t pick me for the World Cup, it will be their call, and I can’t do much. It will be wrong of me to think that I need to play for my place, that I’ll do my job and leave. I’ll have to see the match situation and the team’s requirements to see whether I get personal success. That is one thing I keep repeating no matter what, I’ll try to play for the team and make an impact,” Thakur added.
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Thakur’s performances in the ODI series against the West Indies were highly impressive. He finished as the leading wicket-taker with eight scalps at an astounding average of 11.62. While his batting opportunities were limited, Thakur’s prowess with the ball did not go unnoticed, making him a valuable asset for the team in the upcoming World Cup.