Shardul Thakur has been nicknamed "Beefy" by India manager Ravi Shastri, successful a playful motion to erstwhile England large Ian Botham, and helium showed conscionable wherefore astatine the Oval connected Thursday.
India was successful occupation astatine 7-127 aft hardly 2 sessions of the fourth trial against England erstwhile Thakur launched a stunning, counterattacking cameo of which Botham would beryllium proud.
The fastest trial 50 ever seen astatine the storied southbound London venue — disconnected conscionable 31 balls — saw the right-handed tailender bring India backmost into the match, with his 36-ball 57 the apical people successful a full of 191 each out.
India's fightback continued into the commencement of England's reply, with some openers falling cheaply to Jasprit Bumrah and Joe Root bowled by Umesh Yadav for 21 conscionable earlier stumps.
With England closing connected 3-53, the lucifer was successful the equilibrium successful an oscillating five-match bid that is locked astatine 1-1.
"Right now, the crippled is arsenic poised," Thakur said.
That's mostly down to him.
He had 3 lusty sixes to spell with his 7 fours successful an innings that concisely rattled an England gait onslaught that swarmed each implicit India's apical order, with lone Virat Kohli (50) showing immoderate existent form.
One six flew implicit mid-on. Another was swept disconnected his legs. Thakur roared with delight erstwhile bringing up his half-century and pointed his bat to the balcony wherever his India teammates were lasting and applauding.
Oh, and which player's grounds did helium surpass with his super-quick fifty? Botham, of course, from 1986.
"These guys are teasing maine with his name," Thakur said, laughing. "I deliberation it's bully to compared with a large of the game."
England justified its prime to vessel archetypal nether an overcast sky, with each of its seamers successful the wickets. Especially Chris Woakes, who marked his archetypal trial successful much than a twelvemonth — due to the fact that of COVID-related reasons, past wounded — by taking 4-55.
After reaching 0-28 aft 7 overs, India mislaid openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma without adding to the full during a drawstring of 7 consecutive maidens.
Woakes bagged Rohit successful his archetypal implicit for 11, arsenic Jonny Bairstow — wicketkeeping for the archetypal clip since 2019 portion Jos Buttler was by the broadside of his wife, who is owed to springiness commencement — took the catch.
Rahul was past retired for 17, rapped connected his backmost pad by Ollie Robinson, whose bid conscionable gets amended and better. He finished with figures of 3-38.
Jimmy Anderson's 2nd spell earned him the wicket earlier luncheon of Cheteshwar Pujara, who was looking to artifact but edged down aft scoring 4.
Three much wickets fell betwixt luncheon and tea, including that of Kohli, who was fixed a beingness connected 22 erstwhile dropped by Root astatine gaffe but departed erstwhile helium edged down to Robinson, who removed the India skipper for the 3rd clip this summer.
The flamboyant Rishabh Pant threw distant his wicket for 9, mistiming a slog that went precocious to Moeen Ali astatine heavy mid-off, and it needed Thakur's salvo to rescue India from being dismissed precise cheaply similar it was successful the 3rd trial astatine Headingley. On that occasion, the Indians were rolled implicit for 78 connected the mode to defeat.
"When Rishabh got out, it was important for maine to play specified an innings," Thakur said. "Today was a time I could link properly, truthful I kept going for the runs."
Thakur's dismissal — helium was trapped lbw by Woakes for his 4th wicket — prompted a precocious illness by India, whose last 3 batters went successful the abstraction of 4 balls.
Still, India was backmost successful the game, adjacent much truthful erstwhile Bumrah removed Rory Burns, who chopped onto his ain stumps for 5, and Haseeb Hameed, who edged uppishly down for a 12-ball duck, successful his archetypal 2 overs.
Root, the world's top-ranked trial batsman connected the backmost of 3 centuries this series, looked acceptable and enactment connected 46 for the 3rd wicket with Dawid Malan lone to beryllium clean-bowled by Yadav.
The English trailed by 138 runs. It mightiness person been their day, but lone just.
For a regular dose of the champion of the breaking quality and exclusive contented from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!