Shardul Thakur, who had an outstanding tour of South Africa recently, left people of Mumbai confused by taking a local train after getting off the Emirates flight on his return to India. The 26-year-old fast bowler who picked up 4 wickets in the final ODI against South Africa, in an interview with The Indian Express, said that he boarded the train in Andheri and went straight from business class to first-class. Shardul said that he just wanted to get home and had his headphones on.
“But I could sense people in the compartment looking at me and wondering whether I really was ‘Shardul Thakur’. A few college kids then Googled my picture just to be sure and then asked for a selfie,” he said. The former Rising Pune Supergiants seamer asked his fans to wait till he gets off at Palghar. Sharing his experience, Shardul said that people were actually amazed to see that an international cricketer is travelling with them.
“Some old-timers were recalling how they’ve been seeing me in the train for years. But my feet remain very grounded. I have not received anything on a platter and worked hard for it,” he said.
However, success hasn’t come easy for the Mumbai fast-bowler who has been a regular performer in domestic cricket for a long time. Recalling his old days, Shardul said that people used to taunt him by calling him fat. He said that these comments only inspired him to go back and work harder.
“I proved them all wrong the next season, taking wickets when the senior bowlers were away. Next, they said he’s not bad with the red-ball but doesn’t have the skills with the white ball,” he said. Explaining his struggle, Shardul said that there was limited white ball cricket in Mumbai and his only experience was of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali, where he’d get a maximum of four matches each in both formats to develop his game, which were not enough.
Shardul revealed that his school coach Dinesh Lad is still his go-to man when it comes to taking advice. “I discuss my cricket a lot with. The best part about him is whenever I bring up a failure; he immediately calls it the first step to success,” the fast-bowler added.