Shardul Thakur isn’t having a good IPL 2023 tournament with the ball. The Kolkata Knight Riders seamer has sent down only 14.5 overs across 8 matches so far, taking only 4 wickets and conceding at a high economy rate of 10.78 runs per over.
In 2 out of his last 3 games, Shardul Thakur didn’t even bowl a single ball.
So is Shardul Thakur injured? Why is he not bowling regularly for KKR?
Shardul Thakur has recovered from a “niggle” that forced him to miss three matches in between. Even upon returning, captain Nitish Rana has barely used him with the ball.
The seamer attests it to the fact that Kolkata Knight Riders have a spate of all-rounders in their XI, including skipper Nitish Rana, and while Venkatesh Iyer has not been used with the ball at all.
“We have a side full of allrounders with [Andre] Russell, Sunil [Narine]… we have got maximum of eight bowling options that also includes Nitish [Rana], who also bowls an over or two nowadays,” Shardul Thakur told PTI.
“It also depends on the situation of the game, if the captain feels the need to bowl me or not bowl me completely depends on him. As far as team’s strategy, decision-making is concerned, I would not pay attention to it a lot.”
Shardul Thakur is part of India’s squad for the WTC Final 2023 against Australia. So it would be a scare if he gets injured.
Speaking on his mid-season niggle, the 31-year-old said: “I had a small niggle, so I didn’t play a few games, when I came back, I didn’t bowl as I was not bowling-fit. But yes, now I’m back to bowling and hopefully whenever I get the ball, I will get the job done.”
‘Lord’ Shardul has made a bigger match-winning contribution with the bat this season so far for KKR – an entertaining 29-ball 68 vs RCB – than he’s done with the ball. On a couple of occasions, he’s also been promoted in the order.
“I always try to contribute with the bat whenever I get an opportunity. Obviously, I succeed and fail on fewer occasions. But that’s completely part and parcel of the game,” he said.
“There is no preferred [batting] number, whenever the team asks me to bat, I’m ready to do it. In fact, in a game like T20, I’m ready to bat at any position. I padded up in a lot of games and they could have sent me at any position. In fact, I had padded up to go at No. 3 against Punjab Kings. The T20 game is such that you need to be ready at any given position.”
Can KKR still qualify for the playoffs?
With 10 points in 11 matches, KKR are still alive in playoff contention. But they need to win their remaining 3 games, improve their NRR, and hope for few other results to go their way.