Shardul Thakur Reveals What Will Be A Challenging Target For South Africa

Shardul Thakur in action during the Test series against South Africa© AFP

India pacer Shardul Thakur on Thursday said that the ongoing third Test against South Africa is evenly poised and any score above 300 would be hard to chase for the Proteas. India though got off to a poor start as Marco Jansen dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara off the very first over of day 3.

“I think the game is evenly poised. It’s totally a second innings game now and there is a lot of time left in the game. There is still some life in the pitch and help for the bowlers. The batters can also score runs, so it can go anywhere. Frankly speaking, I don’t think about whether I’m a bowling all-rounder or batting all-rounder. It’s all about creating an impact when I’m out there and do something for the team,” said Shardul before the start of play on Day 3 of the ongoing third Test.

“At the end of the day, I want my performance to be counted in a way that it helps the team to win. We’ve talked about the pitch a lot, there is something for the bowlers but like I said earlier, if you play good cricketing shots, you can score runs. I think to bat well in the third innings is the key, and then take it from there. I don’t have any specific number (for a target) but looking at history, any score over 300 will be hard to chase,” he added.

Jasprit Bumrah’s dominant bowling performance backed up by a gritty batting performance by Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli helped India recover some lost ground against South Africa on Day 2.

At stumps, India’s score read 57/2 with the visitors extending their lead to 70 runs. Kohli (14*) and Pujara (9*) are currently unbeaten at the crease.

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Bumrah on Wednesday had said that it is always wonderful to play under the leadership of Virat Kohli as he brings a lot of energy to the side. Bumrah took five wickets in the first innings as India bowled out South Africa for 210, gaining a slender 13-run lead.

“I made my Test debut under Virat Kohli, it is always wonderful. He is always there to back us and he always gives all the bowlers a lot of motivation. He brings a lot of energy to the side. It is always good to play under him. It has been special as I started my Test journey in Cape Town and then come back here, I am very happy. Personal performances are always good but when you give impact performances, that gives you more satisfaction,” said Bumrah during a virtual press conference after stumps on Day 2.

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