Shardul Narendra Thakur
|Born||16 October 1991 (age 30)
Palghar, Maharashtra, India
|National side||India (2017–present)|
|Test debut (Cap 294)||12 October 2018 v West Indies|
|Last Test||2 September 2021 v England|
|ODI debut (Cap 218)||31 August 2017 v Sri Lanka|
|Last ODI||28 March 2021 v England|
|ODI shirt no.||54|
|T20I debut (Cap 73)||21 February 2018 v South Africa|
|Last T20I||3 November 2021 v Afghanistan|
|T20I shirt no.||54|
Shardul Narendra Thakur (born 16 October 1991) is an Indian international cricketer. He is a bowling all-rounder, who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm medium-fast. He plays first-class cricket for Mumbai and has been a member of Chennai Super Kings since 2018.
Shardul was born in a Maharashtrian Aadivasi family. His family lived in Palghar. But, as there were no schools in Palghar that played cricket with the season ball, Shardul along with his family shifted to Boisar, just to play cricket with season ball in T.V.M. School Boisar. Earlier in his school cricket, he hit 6 sixes from 6 balls in an over while representing Swami Vivekanand International School, Borivali.
In November 2012, he made his First-class debut for Mumbai against Rajasthan at Jaipur in the 2012–13 Ranji Trophy. He did not have a good start to his career as he took four wickets at a bowling average of 82.0 from his first four games. In 2013–14 Ranji season, he took 27 wickets at 26.25 from six games, with one five-wicket haul. In the 2014-15 Ranji season, he took 48 wickets at 20.81 from ten games with five five-wicket hauls. He made his List A debut on 27 February 2014, for Mumbai in the 2013–14 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
In 2015-16 Ranji Trophy final, he took eight wickets against Saurashtra and led Mumbai to win its 41st Ranji Trophy title.
Initially, he was criticized for his lack of height for a fast bowler (he’s 5’9’’) and for being overweight for some time (83kg) but he ultimately became Mumbai domestic cricket’s best pace bowler.
He was named in India’s 16-man squad for India’s Test tour of West Indies in 2016, but he did not play. In August 2017, he was named in India’s limited-overs squad for the series against Sri Lanka. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut on 31 August 2017 against Sri Lanka.
He became the second Indian cricketer to wear the number 10 jersey after Sachin Tendulkar, which raised various controversial comments in social media. Later, he changed his jersey number to 54 due to controversy. On 29 November 2017, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) retired Tendulkar’s No. 10 jersey.
He made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut for India against South Africa on 21 February 2018.
In March 2018, he was selected to play in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy. In a match against Sri Lanka he took a career best 4-27 to bring the game back to India’s favour, winning the Man Of the Match award. He finished with 6 wickets from 5 matches at an average of 29.33.
In May 2018, he was named in India’s Test squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June 2018, but did not play.
In October 2018, he made his Test debut against the West Indies, making him the 294th player to represent Team India in Tests. His debut ended after bowling just 10 deliveries due to suffering from a groin strain in his right leg.
In January 2021, he scored his maiden test fifty, a crucial one, in the first innings of the fourth test match at Brisbane against Australia in the 2020/2021 India Tour of Australia.
Thakur was included in the India squad for the 2021 England tour. He was employed as an extra seam bowler in the First Test at Nottingham. An injury ruled him out of the next two Tests before he returned for the Fourth Test at the Oval. He made 57 in 36 balls in India’s first innings, reaching his half-century in 31 balls, the fastest in Tests played in England. In the second innings, he scored 60 in 72 balls to help India post 466. He took three crucial wickets with the ball, dismissing Ollie Pope for 81 in the first innings, and Rory Burns and Joe Root in the second, and was instrumental in securing his team’s victory. Thakur finished the series with 117 runs at 39 with the bat, while claiming seven wickets at 22 with the ball.
The Guardian wrote:
“The journeyman bowler who bats transformed himself into Kapil Dev, repeatedly delivering a considered counter-attack with bat and ball that permitted not a shred of self-doubt. Though his bowling might be specifically suited to English conditions, he made the absolute most of his talents.”
In September 2021, Thakur was named as one of three reserve players in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in October. On 13 October, Thakur replaced Axar Patel in India’s main squad for the tournament. He was included in the playing eleven for two games.
Thakur was signed by Kings XI Punjab at the 2014 IPL player auction ahead of the 2015 season of Indian Premier League and made his debut against Delhi Daredevils, taking one wicket in his four overs. In March 2017, he was acquired by Rising Pune Supergiants for the tenth season of the IPL and in January 2018, was bought by Chennai Super Kings ahead of the next season.
In 2019 Chennai reached the IPL final. Thakur took two wickets but was out off the final ball of the match with two runs required for victory.
In February 2020, Shardul Thakur was signed up as the brand ambassador for Tata Power Limited.