India spinner R Ashwin recalled a hilarious incident from the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 involving Shardul Thakur. Ashwin and a half-fit Hanuma Vihari had batted more than 40 overs to save a Test match against Australia at Sydney on the last day.
It was a tight game and there was no batting left after Ashwin and Vihari. Only Ravindra Jadeja was a recognized batsman after them, but he had got his hand fractured in the first innings.
India needed the duo to bat as long as possible to avoid a defeat and the team management was trying to help them with whatever inputs they could provide. Head coach Ravi Shastri was shouting instructions from the dressing room and he also sent Shardul Thakur with a message.
Funnily, Shardul didn't convey the message to the batting pair and instead told them to continue with the same approach as they have done a good job till now.
Ashwin talked about the incident in a chat with fielding coach R Sridhar on his YouTube channel. Sridhar started the discussion and said, "Ravi Shastri had a clear message. He called Shardul Thakur (and said) ‘Shardul, come here and tell them that I told this specifically.’ He (Shardul) was almost shivering. He said ‘ What should I say, sir?’ ‘Tell Ash, that I told him’, Shastri replied. ‘What should I tell him, sir?’, Thakur enquired."
"Shastri said, ‘Ashwin should take care of this end, and Vihari should bat from the other end. Ashwin is the best batsman against Nathan Lyon in this entire team. So he should bat from this end. He has a huge stride which helps him negate spin so well. Vihari is managing Starc and Cummins really well, getting underneath those bouncers. So ask them to continue’."
Ashwin revealed what Shardul told them, "Then out came Shardul, running out from the dressing room. He was catching his breath when he reached us. We were like: ‘Just say it man’, while drinking water. Shardul said: ‘They told me so many things from the dressing room’. Yes, please tell, (I said). ‘But I am not going to say any of it,” Shardul replied. “You guys are doing a great job. So please continue."