Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj were both in the race for picking a five-wicket haul during the fourth and final Test against Australia in Brisbane. However, Shardul wanted Siraj to get the honour and has no regret once his teammate did pick up a maiden five-wicket haul in only his second Test.
Incidentally, it was Thakur who took the catch of Australia’s Josh Hazlewood that gave Siraj his fifth wicket in Australia’s second innings. “No, I don’t regret on missing a fifer in the second innings. I mean, it would have been okay if I had taken a fifer but I am really happy for Siraj and I really wished that he should get five wickets, because he was going through a lot of hard time,” Thakur told PTI on Thursday.
Siraj had lost his father ahead of the series but chose to stay back with the team instead and then during the Sydney Test, he complained of being the receiving end of racial abuse from the crowd. Thakur said it was an emotional series for the youngster whose late father’s dream was to see his son play Test cricket for India.
“This was an emotional series for him. He (Siraj) lost his father recently and he mentioned that how his father wanted to him to play cricket. Even though he is not present here in this world, he is watching him from the heavens and he would have been really happy seeing him taking five wickets,” Thakur said.
“So, when I took that catch, I was really, really (happy). I was like, thank god Siraj got five wickets,” he added.
Thakur himself played a vital role in the Brisbane Test with an all-round show. He was the top-scorer in India’s first innings with his 67 off 115 guiding India out of a troubled spot. He also took seven wickets during the Test as well.
“…it is not easy to play against Australia in Brisbane, everyone knows their record in Brisbane, they hadn’t lost a Test match (since) 1988 until this one when we beat them,” he said of India’s epoch-making three-wicket win.
“So, to have performed in this game taking seven wickets and also scoring a fifty and being able to majorly contribute in the team’s victory, it really makes me happy,” he added.
He also opened up on what was the plan when in went in to bat with his team in trouble. “I think when I went to bat (in the first innings), my role was pretty clear. We had our chips down, we were 186/6 and the simple plan at that point of time, you know the situation in front of us was, me and Washington (Sundar) batting as much time as possible,” he said.
“It was really important for us to hang in there, bat for half an hour, another half an hour, make that one and half, two, and you know to just kill the time in there, take the game, that innings as deep as possible,” he recalled.