I’m getting better with every game: Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur seems to be getting better with every game. (AFP Image)

Two months after making his Test debut for India, Shardul Thakur seems to be getting fitter with each passing game. The Mumbai fast bowler, played his maiden Test against the West Indies in October but after bowling just 10 balls, limped off the field due to a groin injury. Not only did Thakur play any further role in the Test, he also missed most of Mumbai’s 2018-19 Ranji Trophy campaign.

However, the 27-year-old fast bowler continues to show positive signs. He returned to competitive cricket in Mumbai’s Round 8 match against Vidarbha, and even though the 41-time champions lost the match, Thakur showed intent bowling 20 overs.

“I’m getting better every game, every day. The way I bowled against Vidarbha (his first game since coming back from injury), on Days One and Two was different. I improved on Day Two. Here at Wankhede, I improved from the last game,” Thakur told Times of India.

Thakur is still some distance away from bowling at full throttle but remains happy with the progress he is making. In final round match of the Ranji Trophy, Thakur picked up a match-haul of 8/79 as Mumbai crushed Chhattisgarh by nine wickets in two days.

“At the moment, I’m not worried about speed. I need to bowl as many overs as I can in a match, and take that experience with me, so that when I play at a higher level, I can take that workload. Talking about my speed, it will come. I’ve been training, doing my fitness sessions,” Thakur said.

“I’m at the 90 per cent mark. I’m coming out of a major injury. If I say I’m bowling at 100 per cent, or if I try to bowl 100 per cent, it will be silly of me to do that immediately. As I said earlier, I’m progressing slowly, so hopefully, I’ll get there in a few weeks.”

The loss against Vidarbha ended Mumbai’s season. With one win and three losses, Mumbai, without Thakur, were quite ordinary this year, and Thakur admitted it was heart-breaking to see Mumbai struggle.

“It’s painful. All these years we’ve made the knockouts. we’ve made the semis, played in two finals. since I started playing for Mumbai, this is the first time that we’ve not qualified for the knockouts. It was painful sitting at home and watching your team not do well. A lot of times I felt that I should be playing out there helping the team, but I couldn’t do much since I was injured,” he said.

Despite having regained fitness, Thakur added he is yet to be contacted by the national selectors and that there was no one present at the venue to see the improvements he is making. “No one has spoken to me yet,” Thakur said.