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Shardul Thakur credits his Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni for improving his batting technique

New Delhi, Sep 16: India all-rounder Shardul Thakur was amongst the biggest positives on England tour where the Mumbai cricketer delivered with the bat as well as with the ball. Shardul impressed with his back-to-back fifties in the fourth Test at the Oval which Team India won by 157 runs.

With his knock at the Oval, Thakur - who slammed a match-winning fifty in his debut Test at the Gabba - proved his batting performance in Australia wasn't a fluke and that he has worked really hard in this department.

Shardul's knock was studded with some classical backfoot drives, cover drives and straight drives and gave even top-order batsmen a run for their money. In an interview with the Indian Express, Thakur revealed when was the time he started focussing on his batting skills.

Talking about the improvement in his batting skills, Thakur said, "When I injured my ankle two years ago, it was decided that I need to take my batting seriously. I had the ability in me and going ahead I wanted to contribute in the lower order. I told myself, 'kuch bhi ho jaye, batting mein acha karna he padega'. In the past, there were opportunities that came with the bat too but somehow, I couldn't make an impact. I told myself 'aisa nahi chalega'. Lower order-batsman contributing always helps, and there have been many instances where 40-50 runs make a huge difference."

Talking about the role Team India's throwdown specialists Raghu and Nuwan played to help him improve his batting techniques, the Mumbai cricketer said, "When I made my comeback in the Indian team, I practised with our throw down specialists Raghu and Nuwan - they are very quick. Initially, I wasn't able to play them. I tried to improve my footwork when I faced them and slowly-slowly my batting improved. The more I played them the more I got adjusted to the pace. Whatever runs I have scored so far, there has been a process that I have followed, it's not a coincidence or stroke of luck."

The right-handed batsman went on revealing how a valuable suggestion from his Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni helped him fine-tune his batting. He also thanked senior India players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for motivating him.

"There have been people from the Indian team management, Virat, Rohit, who kept on motivating me. They all said that whenever I bat, I should think the way batsmen think. Once I was in Mahi bhai's (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) room and holding his bat. He told me that my batting grip is too high and I need to hold it lower to get better control over the shot. Now I hold my bat there and it helps," he added further.

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Story first published: Thursday, September 16, 2021, 14:31 [IST]
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