Bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur, fondly referred to as Lord Shardul because of his unconventional heroics, found himself in the company of an esteemed cricket legend. Thakur, who brought up his half century on day 3 of India's first innings in the WTC Final against Australia, joined cricket legend Don Bradman in scoring three consecutive half-centuries at The Oval.
India's Oval hero
Thakur, who alongside Ajinkya Rahane salvaged India from an embarrassing 1st innings total against Australia, was India's fighting hero the last time they played at The Oval. It was the 4th Test of the 5-match series against England when Thakur came out as India's top scorer in the first innings, registering a score of 57 as India folded for a paltry 197.
Thakur backed his first innings with another half century in the second, scoring 60 runs as India scored 466 runs after conceding a lead of 93 runs, eventually winning the match by 157 runs.
The Oval has proven to be a fortunate ground for Thakur, where he has excelled in his recent outings. His contributions played a crucial role in India avoiding the follow-on. However, Australia managed to dismiss Thakur for 51 runs, as skipper Pat Cummins castled him in the same over in which he achieved his half-century.
Luck favouring the brave
Earlier, Thakur was trapped LBW on 36, but replays on review showed Cummins had overstepped yet again, giving him and India a huge sigh of relief. He had luck on his side when Australia went for a review for caught-behind, but didn't get an edge and lost their review as the first session ended in India's favour, though their innings was wrapped up in 9.4 overs of the second session.
Brief Scores: Australia 469 in 121.3 overs (Travis Head 163; Mohammed Siraj 4/108) lead India 296 in 69.4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 89, Shardul Thakur 51; Pat Cummins 3/83, Nathan Cameron Green) by 173 runs