IPL 2023: Why is Shardul Thakur not bowling for KKR? ‘Can’t answer’ says teammate
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) promoted their bowling allrounder Shardul Thakur to number three in their batting lineup during the crucial IPL 2023 match against Gujarat Titans (GT) at Eden Gardens on Saturday.
While that move backfired as Thakur failed to open his account, what was more mysterious was the India allrounder did not get a chance to roll his arm over even once in the second innings, even as his team was unable to defend a score of 179.
While his batting promotion was understandable to an extent, what draws a complete blank is why the 31-year-old was not bowling even when other bowlers were conceding more than 10 to 12 an over towards the end of GT’s innings.
Even his teammates seemed unaware of why he is not bowling, admitting that it is certainly not due to an injury.
“I cannot answer or say anything on this. The coach and team management know better than me. It might be a special plan they discussed before the game,” said Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the post-match press conference.
“Maybe Shardul likes to play up the order. It was the management’s call,” said Gurbaz, who scored a brilliant 81 off 39 balls for his team against GT on Saturday evening.
When asked if fitness was a concern, Gurbaz said: ”No, if you are not fit enough, then you will not play. It might be that the team doesn’t need him to bowl. The captain knows it better.”
Thakur didn’t bowl even as KKR conceded 69 in the last four overs.
Chasing 180 to win, GT were 111/3 after 14 overs, and KKR were still in the game. However, David Miller and Vijay Shankar unleashed a fury of sixes and fours. Miller targeted young leg-spinner Suyash Sharma and scored 18 in an over. Shankar chipped in with a few lusty blows of his own as KKR suffered another bitter defeat and are on the brink of an early elimination from the tournament.
Interestingly, in the six matches of IPL 2023, Shardul Thakur has bowled just 11.5 overs and picked up two wickets.
Overall in the IPL, Shardul has played 81 matches with 84 wickets at an economy rate of 9.17 and an average of 29.49. His best figures are 4/36.