Shardul Thakur was once again in the scheme of things as India restricted South Africa to 229 runs, keeping the lead to 27 runs on day 2 of the Johannesburg Test. Thakur returned with his best spell, picking up seven wickets which have left teammate Ravichandran Ashwin stunned.
Every time KL Rahul introduced Shardul Thakur in the attack, the bowler from Mumbai made things happen. He broke the crucial partnership between Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen in the morning session before coming back in the second half to pick a couple more to unrattle the home side.
His extraordinary spell, where he picked 7/61 stunned everyone including his teammates including Ravichandran Ashwin. The veteran off-spinner came up with a hilarious remark when Thakur made debutant Kyle Verreynne his fourth victim of the innings.
“Yarra nee, engendhu da pudichanga unna? Nee ball potaale wicket vizhum,” Ashwin said in Tamil which roughly translates to: “Who are you? Wicket falls if you just bowl.”
Watch the video here:
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Ravichandran Ashwin’s remarks which were caught on the stump mic left everyone in splits.
“You can’t lose concentration against Shardul Thakur” – Morne Morkel
The former Proteas speedster Morne Morkel opined that the South African batters got complacent after keeping Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah at bay in the first hour of day 2.
“South Africa absorbed the pressure and the key was to fight through the first hour, get through Shami and Bumrah, and there on you can get the scoring options. You could see Siraj was only bowling at 50 per cent. The table was set for South Africa but the game changes so quickly. You can’t lose concentration for a second as Shardul Thakur came and broke open the South African top-order,” said Morkel on Star Sports.
Meanwhile, India lost both their openers cheaply at the fag end of the day’s play but underfire Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane resisted well to take the side to 85/2 at the end of the day, securing a 58-run lead.