Thakur disclosed that Anderson abused Mohammed Siraj during the first Test at Trent Bridge and later behaved the same way with Bumrah after receiving a few fiery bouncers while batting during the Lord’s Test.
Anderson’s verbal altercations with Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah proved harmful for England, however, as the pace duo produced fiery match-winning spells at Lord’s and the Oval.
In a chat with the Times of India, Shardul Thakur opened up about the incidents which fired up the Indian team and said:
“There were no tensions with the England team. It (The issue) was only with James Anderson. He abused Mohammed Siraj in the first Test, and likewise, he did the same to (Jasprit) Bumrah in the Lordâs Test, when he (Bumrah) bowled the âbody lineâ to him.”
Speaking about the experience of Indian tailenders when they batted in overseas conditions, Thakur said:
“Have you seen how fast bowlers bowl to our tail-enders when we go overseas? Mohammed Shamiâs arm got fractured in Adelaide. T Natarajan was bombarded with fast âbody lineâ balls at 90-plus miles an hour. We are not here to make friendships and spare anyone. We are here to win.”
Verbal exchanges and sledging are part and parcel of the sport. In the end, cricket fans did get to see some high-quality action in the India-England Test series.
Further, Shardul Thakur shared his thought process while bowling in the second innings of the Oval Test, when England were smoothly cruising along at one stage.
Thakur explained that he stuck to his strategy and bowled an attacking line to give India their first wicket on Day Five. The pacer got rid of the well-set Rory Burns with a ball that straightened and squared up the left-hander.
Speaking about his bowling tactics and strategy, Thakur said: “My job was simpleâ I had to support the other three pacers. But at some stage (of my career) in other forms of cricket and in domestic games, I too had played as the main seamer of my team. So my natural instinct is to take wickets. Even when England were cruising in the second innings with no wickets on board, my intention was to take wickets, and not even once did I think of bowling defensively.”
Thakur concluded by talking about the wickets he picked in the second innings, saying, “Roryâs [wicket] was a reward of a good ball which pitched on the right spot and moved away. I was really pleased with the wickets of Pope and Root. I was just trying to bowl that teasing line and length outside the off-stump.“