Shardul Thakur breaks Ian Botham’s record to register fastest Test fifty in England- The New Indian Express


LONDON: India all-rounder Shardul Thakur on Thursday became the fastest to score a half-century in Test cricket in England. He achieved the feat on the opening day of the fourth Test against England at The Oval. Shardul completed his fifty off just 31 balls.

The Indian all-rounder broke the record held by former England all-rounder Ian Botham. The former England skipper had scored a fifty off just 32 balls against New Zealand in 1986 at The Oval.

In fact, Shardul also went on to record the second-fastest fifty for India in Test cricket with former India skipper Kapil Dev still holding the record with a 30-ball fifty against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982.

Commenting on his innings, Shardul said: “The more you play with the straight bat in English conditions, the more runs you will get. The ball swings excessively so it’s better to play straight. My coaches tell me to play with straight bat and score as much as possible with the tail.

“You have to take responsibility whether you are a pacer or a batsman. If you are playing for India, so whenever you get a chance you have to shoulder responsibility. For me, it was a challenge and whenever I get to bat, I have to create such an impact that it opens the door for my team’s victory.”

But it was an otherwise poor day for the Indian batsmen as only skipper Virat Kohli managed a 50 after England skipper Joe Root won the toss and put India in to bat. While Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul did look to play out the opening spells from James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes made his presence felt as soon as he came to the bowling crease by dismissing Rohit.

India’s ploy to promote Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant also flopped as the bowling all-rounder could manage just 10 runs from 34 balls.

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