Former South African batsman JP Duminy has likened India’s Johannesburg Test star Shardul Thakur with a South African pace great, Vernon Philander, following the former’s eight-wicket figure in the second Test last week.
Talking to cricket.com after India’s seven wicket-defeat at the Wanderers, Duminy drew a similarity between Thakur and Philanders on the basis of their accuracy and ability to use the pitch to the best of their advantage.
“I’d liken Shardul to someone like Vernon Philander. The reason why he comes to mind, I think about how he goes about getting his wickets. There was a crack he utilised to his advantage in the first innings. But what’s impressive is the ability to wobble the seam but be consistent with your lines and length. You’re allowing the surface to be your variation,” he said.
Thakur had finished with 7 for 61 in the first innings in the second Test to bundle the hosts for 229. His effort is now the best figure by an Indian bowler against Soiuth Africa in Tests, breaking R Ashwin’s previous record of 7 for 66. The figure also made Thakur only the second Indian bowler to pick seven wickets in a Test in South Africa after Harbhajan Singh.
Adding more to the comparison, Duminy said that Shardul has one advantage over Philander, with his ability to swing the ball more.
“When the ball lands on each side of the seam, it could move in different directions or it keeps particularly low or bounce towards the batter. This was something Vernon was immaculate at. He used to say, he kept the ball in a certain way and I get that impression with Thakur as well. The added advantage is that he has the ability to possibly swing the ball a little more than Philander.”
Shardul eventually finished with eight wickets in the Johannesburg Test, which is the joint-second most by an Indian bowler in a Test match in South Africa.
India will play the final Test match in Cape Town starting January 11.