Shardul Thakur gave a sufficient balance to the struggling Indian innings by slamming the second-fastest Test half century by an Indian on Day 1 of the fourth Test against England at The Oval. Thakur reached his fifty off just 31 balls on Thursday bettering Virender Sehwag’s 32-ball fifty against England in Chennai back in 2008.
The record for the fastest fifty by an Indian in Test cricket stands with Kapil Dev. The former India captain had slammed his half-century off just 30 balls against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982. Twitter went crazy seeing Shardul hit the England bowlers to all parts of The Oval.
Shardul’s breezy knock was vastly different from all of the other members of India’s line-up. Besides Virat Kohli (50, 96b, 8×4), none of the other batsmen scored more than 14 runs, and it seemed England’s seamers were always in control.
Nineteen batsmen have taken 31 balls or less to score a half-century in Test matches. The last time a batsman scored a quicker half-century was in 2018, when New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme got to the landmark off 28 balls against Sri Lanka in Christchurch.
Shardul has 130 runs in his kitty so far in his Test career. His other famous knock was a 67 against Australia in Brisbane, in January, 2021.
Fastest fifties in Tests by Indians:
The 29-year-old slammed as many as 7 fours and 3 massive sixes to during his innings at the Oval. Shardul Thakur was drafted into the playing XI as senior pro’s Ishant Sharma and Mohd Shami had picked niggles. He had earlier played a match-winning knock in Australia. India would look to make his innings count.