Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling consultant Eric Simons revealed the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 final defeat changed the all-rounder Shardul Thakur, who started working on his batting after a heartbreak finish to the tournament.
The 30-year-old was on strike when CSK needed two runs to defend their title, but Mumbai Indians (MI) pacer Lasith Malinga had dismissed him to win the match by 1 run. Shardul was devasted after the loss and he sat in a corner alone in the dressing room.
Simons, during commentary for Star Sports in the second Test between South Africa and India, said the defeat made Shardul improve his batting and he has put a lot of effort into it over the years. Currently, he is considered a reliable batter in the lower order for Team India.
"I have to tell the story of Shardul's batting. It's a lot to do with his character," Simons said. "He is in the same franchise as I am, with CSK. Two years ago in the IPL final against Mumbai Indians, we needed one off the last ball to tie and two to win. He walked to the wicket, facing Lasith Malinga and he was out the last ball of the match LBW.
"He was devastated to lose that match. He was sitting in a corner for I don't know how long! That's his character. Nobody could tell him, nobody could console him... 'listen it wasn't your fault'. In fact, he bowled particularly well in that match," he added.
Shardul has played some handy knocks for his national team and even in the IPL for CSK. His batting ability does give him an edge over other players in selection.
"The point I am trying to make is what that match did to him. He resolved to go out and make sure 'that will never happen to me again'. To become the batter that he has... the amount of work he puts in on his batting... even with all the calypso style shots we talk about, there's a lot of orthodoxy in the way he goes about his batting. It says a lot about the character of the man that he rose from that position," Simons added.
(With Star Sports Inputs)