Unlike the Centurion Test, Team India struggled a bit in Johannesburg where they lost the second match by 7 wickets. The batters didn’t score enough to challenge the hosts and as a result, Dean Elgar & Co managed to level the series 1-1.
Despite the loss, there were some individual performances that entertained the viewers. One of them is Shardul Thakur whose brilliant spell in the first innings. The fast-bowling all-rounder bagged 7/61 to help India restrict the hosts to a little lead of 27. Also in the second innings, he played a quick cameo of 28 runs, helping the hosts set a 240-run target.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra had reservations with Shardul getting picked for the 2nd Test. However, the cricketer-turned-commentator was happy to see the latter’s stellar all-round show at The Wanderers.
Speaking in his latest YouTube video, Chopra said, “Shardul Thakur has been the pick of the Indian bowlers, rather the Indian players, in the second Test match. Personally, I was one of those guys who asked questions.”
Chopra further explained why he had doubts about Thakur’s place in the team.
“If he is not scoring runs and is not picking up wickets in any case because if you are the fourth bowler, you don’t get the bowling. In fact, even when he took seven wickets, he bowled just one ball in the first 35 overs.
“So, if you are not introduced in 35 overs and you are not able to score runs, which was the case in the first two or three innings, your place in the team is in question because then you will play a fourth fast bowler,” Chopra said.
“But then, he just turned this Test match on its head by that inspiring spell. He took seven wickets, which is a huge achievement. After that, he scored crucial 28 runs with the bat because of which India got a lead of 239. So, in my opinion, Lord Thakur is absolutely phenomenal,” Chopra added.