Ready to play any time, says Shardul


Shardul Thakur has been with the Indian squads, both Tests and limited-overs, for some time now without getting to play in any of the matches. The Mumbai paceman, however, said he would always be ready mentally to play anytime despite spending most of the time warming the benches. 

“Over the past few years I have been working hard,” Thakur said on the eve of fourth ODI against Sri Lanka. “Whenever I get a chance to play I should be ready. Keeping that in mind, I always prepare for the game. Whether they play me or not that’s the management’s decision but if you ask me personally, I just have to be ready for the game whenever I get the opportunity and I prepare accordingly,” he stated.

Thakur has been impressive in domestic cricket and grabbed more eyeballs with excellent shows for Rising Pune Supergiant in this IPL and for India ‘A’ on their recent trip to South Africa where he took nine wickets in four matches. While these displays have been rewarded with a place in the senior national squad, the 25-year-old understands international cricket is a different beast. 

“I feel whenever you move one level up -- from domestic you go on to play IPL and from IPL you get selected to international cricket -- the skill is always there but you got to prepare really well mentally. In international cricket, the pressure is different and the pressure in domestic cricket is different. I would say I have to be mentally tough and be ready,” he thought.

When asked about working with bowling coach Bharat Arun, the Maharashtra-born player said most of his discussions with him have been specific to matches.

“When I first met him (Bharat) it was the Under-19 camp at the NCA,” he recalled. “It was more of a technical camp where players perform when you go to the academy, work on your technique and get better. It’s only my first assignment with him in the (Indian) team and so far it’s been good. It’s more of match-oriented things (that I discuss with him).”

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