This youth was once part of crowd, today people are dying for a selfie with him: this is called a real success

There is nothing under the sun that one cannot touch the pinnacle of success with individual talent. At any time, life can change and all one can do is to set goals high and to march towards it each day of life. Shardul Narendra Thakur faced a lot of ups and downs in life. But that’s didn’t stop him from becoming a successful cricketer. The story of Shardul Thakur will surely inspire you in many ways and let’s go through his journey.

Shardul Narendra Thakur was born on 16 October 1991 in Palghar Maharashtra. He is a right-arm medium fast bowler who represents Mumbai in the domestic circuit. Popularly known as the ‘Palghari express’, his commitment and dedication to the game are commendable. Before touching the pinnacle of success, Shardul had to go through many hurdles. He used to travel 90 kms daily by train from his hometown in Palghar to Mumbai to play Cricket in his initial days. The desire to learn and excel drove him and helped him survive the initial hardships.

But everyone gets to meet one person in their life who change your life completely. For Shardul, it was Zaheer Khan who used to coach him.

Thakur made his Ranji Trophy debut against Rajasthan in 2012. Thakur played 4 matches but managed to take only 4 wickets. He was also criticized for being overweight but not many realise how much he had to struggle to get to this level. A determined player fought the odds, worked on his bowling, shed 13 kilos and forced his way back to the Ranji Team. 

In the following season, 2013-14,  he bagged 27 wickets out from 6 matches which were the second highest in the tournament. In the beginning, he was not selected for Under-19 but he worked hard instead of being disappointed and the following year, he made his place in the team.

During this time, he was doing his graduation as well. He revealed that he approaches his school coach whenever needed. The long wait was finally over, he was named in India’s 16-man squad for India’s Test tour of West Indies in 2016, but he did not get a chance to play any game. Eventually, he made his international debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka on 31 August 2017.

He has played two ODIs till date but could not leave the impact as he took only one wicket and gave 74 runs after bowling 13 overs. His domestic performances did help him in getting an IPL contract where he was picked by Kings XI Punjab. However, he had to warm the bench for most of the season as he didn’t get many opportunities to showcase his talent. He didn’t even get a chance for the Australian tour earlier this year where a lot of youngsters were given the opportunity.

Apart from being a fast bowler, he can also bat decently and can be a great asset to the team in the longer formats of the game. Thakur credits Zaheer Khan for helping him learn the nuances of test Cricket and helped him modify his game accordingly. Shardul is a true champion, who set a bench mark for the youngsters to follow.

Dharam Sikarwar
Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.