ENG v IND 2021: Harbhajan Singh hails Shardul Thakur’s Oval heroics; compares him to Kapil Dev

India all-rounder Shardul Thakur proved his mettle with both bat and ball in the fourth Test against England as he picked 3 wickets in the match which included a big wicket of in-form English skipper Joe Root to go with a couple of half-centuries he scored in both innings.

Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh who was highly impressed with the Mumbai-based all-rounder, showered him with loads of praises and went on to compare Thakur with legendary all-rounder and India’s first World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev.

If he [Shardul Thakur] continues to work on his batting and continues to put the hard yards in his bowling, he can solve India’s problem of finding a dependable all-rounder after Kapil Dev. It’s so good to see the way he batted, and it will build his confidence going forward,”Harbhajan told The Times of India.

The off-spinner who has shared a dressing room with the right-arm quick during his time with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) then talked about how he feels Shardul can bat at no. 8 in SENA countries where it is difficult to have two spinners in the side.

He has done well for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy for many years. He’s been a dependable player for them. It’s the right time for him to take his game to the next level, and he’s done exactly that. I don’t think CSK or any other IPL franchise has done wonders to his game. He’s matured with age and time. He’s always been a very good bowler,” the 41-year-old said.

I would like to see him batting at No 8 and scoring runs consistently for Team India, especially in countries like Australia, England, New Zealand, and South Africa, where you can’t play two spinners and someone needs to bowl too as your main fast bowler and bat also as your No. 5 to 7 batsmen. Shardul is pretty capable of doing that at No 8, where he can score runs and win games for the team,” the India cricketer concluded.

As far as the five-match Test series against England is concerned, India has taken an unbeatable 2-1 lead over hosts with a 157-run win at The Oval in the fourth Test. Thus, it will be interesting to see how both teams go about in the final Test of the series at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10.