Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari hit a total of 289 balls to save the SCG test and keep the streak alive at 1-1 before India delivered the knockout blow to Brisbane earlier this week, but Shardul Thakur also had a role to play in their partnership. Shardul was set to make a big impact in the Brisbane test the following week, but even as the 12th man in Sydney he did a lot while not doing much.
Coach Ravi Shastri was shouting instructions from the locker room and sent Shardul to message the pair, coach R Sridhar revealed in a conversation with Ashwin on his YouTube channel. But Shardul, unwilling to confuse Ashwin and Vihari with the barrage of conflicting thoughts in the locker room, decided not to say anything.
Sridhar said: “Ravi Shastri had a clear message. He called Shardul Thakur (and said) “Shardul, come here and tell them I said so specifically. He (Shardul) was almost shaking. He said, “What shall I say, sir? “Tell Ash, what I told him,” Shastri replied. “What should I tell him, sir?” Thakur inquired.
“Shastri said, ‘Ashwin should take care of this end, and Vihari should beat the other side. Ashwin is the best batsman against Nathan Lyon in this whole team. So he should beat this end. He has a huge stride that helps him cancel the spin so well. Vihari handles Starc and Cummins very well, going under those bouncers. So ask them to continue ”.
Ashwin said: “Then Shardul came out, running out of the locker room. He was catching his breath when he joined us. We were like, “Just say it man,” while drinking water. Shardul said: “They told me so many things from the locker room”. Yes, please say, (I said). “But I’m not going to say any of that,” Shardul replied. “You are doing a great job. So please continue. “