Shardul Thakur gears up for West Indies tour by watching ‘Fire in Babylon’

All of Palghar was celebrating when its favourite son Shardul Thakur broke into the Indian cricket team for the West Indies tour, but the celebrations at the Thakur household were a low-key affair. A couple of weeks ago, Shardul lost his maternal uncle and hence the celebrations were not too high. The newest Team India member and its fast-bowling bowling hope Shardul shared this while interacting with media on the sidelines of his felicitation ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday. ALSO READ: Shardul Thakur: 6 interesting facts about India’s young pacer picked for West Indies tour.

“We kept it easy. Obviously, my friends came home and we cut the cake,” said the 25-year-old pacer who led the Mumbai bowling attack as the domestic heavyweights won the Ranji Trophy title for the 41st time earlier this season. Shardul, who will be touring with the Indian squad to the Caribbean for the first time for a four-Test series, said he will talk to senior players about the pitches in the West Indies.

“I don’t have idea of their wickets, how they are preparing wickets/pitches now. I will go there and figure it out. I will talk to my senior guys when I meet there. Go there, practise and figure it out,” he told media. “There is no West Indian in Kings XI Punjab (IPL team), so I haven’t got any opportunity to speak to them,” Shardul, who was felicitated with a shawl and a cheque for Rs 1 lakh by PV Shetty, owner of Payyade SC and joint secretary of Mumbai Cricket Association, further added. ALSO READ: Right time to invest in young Shardul Thakur at the highest level.

The pacer also said that the limited knowledge he has about the West Indies cricket and the pitch conditions is from watching ‘Fire in Babylon’ at the BKC academy. “I don’t know much about it”, said Shardul of West Indies cricket. “I have seen that movie (Fire in Babylon), and got to know a lot of things from it. How they built the team, what happened in Australia, how they won two back-to-back World Cups. They had a few of the fastest bowlers, the world feared them. Now, cricket has evolved a lot through T20. They are an attacking team. Am looking forward to going there,” Shardul said.

Success has not come easier to the Mumbai pacer, who used travel all the way from Palghar to Mumbai to train and play cricket since his early days. He has come a long way and past couple of years have been exceptional for him. He picked up 27 wickets in six Ranji Trophy matches in 2013-14, 48 from 10 games in 2014-15 and 41 from 11 games in 2015-16, an effort that helped him earn his maiden Team India call-up. Hopefully, he will make the most of it when he gets a chance to play ad cement his place in the side.