Twice in three matches for India has <a href="https://www.india.com/topic/Shardul-Thakur">Shardul Thakur</a> has excelled in a department not many know him to be good at. With the bat, Thakur seems to be turning a new leaf and his innings against Sri Lanka in the third T20I was another example. Coming in to bat at No. 8, Thakur smashes two sixes and a boundary to finish in 8 off 22 and along with Manish Pandey, took India over 200. <p></p> <p></p>Last month, Thakur had given a glimpse of what he was capable of with a bat in hand, when his unbeaten 17 off six balls against West Indies helped India complete successfully a chase of 316 and given them the series in the decider. No mug with the bat, the 28-year-old from Mumbai seems to be relishing his new role down the order. <p></p> <p></p>"I believe I have the ability with the bat and I have been practicing hard. If I can contribute at number eight, it is always crucial for the team," Thakur said during the post-match presentation after being adjudged Player of the Match. <p></p> <p></p>Besides starring with the bat, Thakur also ensured his main trade did not go unnoticed. He picked up 2/19 getting rid of opener Avishka Fernando with a beautiful outswinger and Dasun Shanaka out caught and bowled. This came after he returned an impressive 3/23 in during the previous game in Indore. However, the fact that Thakur is now getting more chances with the national team is what pleases him the most. <p></p> <p></p>"With regard to my action, I can bowl outswingers, so the focus was to swing the ball early," said Thakur. "I have spent quite some time in the team ever since I broke into the side in 2016. I get a homely feeling and don't feel left out, so credit goes to the captain and the team management."