The 29-year-old was playing his first Test match in more than two years. He hobbled off the field with a groin injury on his Test debut after bowling just 10 deliveries against the West Indies in 2018.
In an exclusive chat with TOI, Shardul Thakur opened up on how India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane guided him during the Gabba Test. He said:
‘He (Rahane) kept telling me, have patience, keep bowling good ball after ball. Don’t think too much ahead, just be in the present and enjoy each and every moment.”
Shardul Thakur also admitted that having two Mumbaikars as captain (Rahane) and coach (Ravi Shastri) helped his cause in Australia. Explaining further on the same, he added:
“Both have played a lot of cricket in Mumbai and so have I. They know where I belong from, what kind of cricket I’ve played. So, it is always easy to communicate. I’ve played with Ajinkya in the Mumbai team.”
On Rahane’s captaincy Down Under, Shardul Thakur commented:
“He led the team beautifully in the absence of Virat Kohli.”
— RAMESH POWAR (@imrameshpowar) January 22, 2021
Well done Mohd. Siraj on your 1st fifer and @imShard on your important all round performance which has kept the Test rather interesting so far and more importantly, the Test series alive. #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/tXmLP2c9FN
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 18, 2021
Shardul Thakur described the warm reception he received on reaching home as a “very good” one.
Shardul Thakur, along with Rahane, Shastri, Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw, arrived in Mumbai from Australia on Thursday.
On the welcome, Shardul Thakur added it was special as his family and friends were also present. He said:
“Besides my family, all my friends, neighbours and a lot of people were there to greet me when I reached home. They burst some crackers, and we cut a cake as well. Mom had an aarti ka thaali in her hand.”
He admitted he is happy to be back home. Shardul Thakur added:
“It feels nice to be back home after five months. At the end of the day, family is family and when you meet them, it’s always good.”
Welcome for Shardul Thakur pic.twitter.com/sWftHMbCrQ
— Shrikant Jawale (@ShrikantJawale3) January 21, 2021
Shardul Thakur was one of Team India’s heroes at the Gabba Test. He top-scored with 67 in India’s first innings, and grabbed a rich haul of seven wickets in the match.