Shardul Thakur on walking with Indian flag at the Gabba: ‘Winning the series was most important for India’

Shardul Thakur on walking with Indian flag at the Gabba: ‘Winning the series was most important for India’

According to Indian cricketer Shardul Thakur, holding the Indian flag and marching around the Gabba was a very emotional moment for him and the entire team after a brilliant 2-1 series win in the Tests against Australia.

“[Walking with the India flag] was a very emotional moment for me and the entire team. We won the match, that was the important part. Who finished the match for India, how did he finish the match was it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that India won the match [Gabba Test], we won the match in Gabba where Australia hadn’t lost a Test match in 32 years. I think, if I’m not wrong, the last time they lost at Gabba was against West Indies, a really good fast bowling attack, the best batting lineup- against the best West Indies side. And then, 32 years later, they lost against us,” Shardul Thakur told India Today in an exclusive interview.

“There were way too many injuries in this series for us, even Virat Kohli was in Indian on paternity leave, so we were almost a 2nd or a 3rd lineup left. Even in the bowling lineup for India, there was no Ishant Sharma and then even Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav got injured and then even Ashwin got injured during the Sydney Test and couldn’t get fit in time for the Gabba. So we fielded a complete inexperienced bowling attack and even in the batting lineup we had Shubman Gill making his debut in the series, even Mayank had not play a lot of games for India. So we walked into the Gabba Test with very little experience in the team. Yet, we went on to win at the Gabba against Australia. Most importantly, we won the series 2-1 after facing a crushing defeat in the 1st Test.”

India bounced back at the MCG

Shardul has reflected on the time when India were 1-0 down against Australia after the 1st Test in Adelaide. The Indian pacer has shared how bouncing back in the Melbourne Test after being 36 all out in Adelaide, and being written off by many experts, was huge for the team.

“We were 36 all out in Adelaide, everyone had written off Team India because even Virat was flying back to India after that and people were convinced that we could easily lose 4-0 in the series. But to come back from there and win the Melbourne Test. Ajinkya Rahane batted very well at the MCG, one of the best innings he has ever played. Then we pulled off a draw in the Sydney Test, even that draw was like a win for us. Then at the Gabba everyone witnessed the history that was created. It was rather difficult for us to soak the moment in at that point, so all we did was enjoy the moment,” he added.

‘Team India wanted to thank all their supporters’

The 29-year-old pacer shared how important it was for the team to thank their supporters who had come to watch the historic game at The Gabba and waving the flag around was a way to acknowledge the crowd’s support.

“We also had a lot of supporters for India who were in Australia at the ground. So it was our responsibility to go around the ground and thank the fans at the venue, so in that convoy even I got to hold the flag. Hence, it was a very emotional moment then because I was lifting the Indian flag because all we’ve done throughout our lives is salute to the Indian flag, sing the national anthem on 26th Jan or before a Test match or on 15th August. But being on the ground myself and taking the flag in my hands to thank all our supporters with everyone watching in India on their televisions, to get picturised with the fla as well, it was very emotional,” Shardul shared.

“But at the end of the day, the biggest happiness was India winning the series 2-1. We silenced all the critics after beating Australia in their own den. We set our country’s name high at a foreign land, everyone was talking about us. To me, that was the biggest feeling that we took India forward.”

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