TATA IPL 2022: Why Delhi Capitals brought Shardul Thakur for INR 10.75 crore
The Stage is set for cricket's most prominent festival to commence, the Indian Premier League aka TATA IPL 2022. In the recently concluded mega IPL auction, Delhi Capitals shredded a whopping 10.75 Cr (roughly equivalent of two Ferrari 488 spiders) for the Indian bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur, eventually making him the most expensive buy for the Delhi franchise this year. In the Mega auctions, teams spent over 550 crores buying 204 players to work out the right combination to win the grand prize. It will be interesting to see how Delhi Capital uses the former Chennai Super King's all-rounder in the IPL that kicks off from 26th March 2022.
Despite topping the table in 2021, DC just couldn't fire at the right time and lost both Playoff matches to get eliminated from the title race. In fact, Delhi Capital has been faltering in the knockout stages for the past three seasons of IPL. One key takeaway from the debacle of 2021 was the lack of a genuine all-rounder as a match-winner. The attacking batting lineup couldn't capitalise on the starts given by the top order in the key matches, which led to the disappointing finish of their campaign.
Shardul Thakar has been in exceptional form over the past two years, especially with the ball and most recently with the bat too. He was the 2nd highest wicket-taker in the 2021 edition of the IPL. Surprisingly, in the Inds tour of SA, he played a couple of crucial knocks against the formidable South African expressmen.
Despite his primary role as a bowler, he is now used as a vital number 7 batter also. This adds value to the squad with an extra player to bat during the death overs. Thakur is a medium pace bowler who produces decent movements similar to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. His knack for picking up wickets at regular intervals and handy batting credentials has made him a regular in the Indian team across all three formats. Due to his recent performances, Delhi Capitals think tank had their eyes on a player like Shardul right from the beginning.
Having made IPL debut in 2015 for Punjab Kings, formerly Kings X1 Punjab, Thakur har primarily played as a bowler over the years. The taste of real success is relatively new for a player of his age and experience. Despite picking up wickets, Thakur leaks run as his economy in IPL is touching 9 runs per over. He would like to improve this to justify his price tag. If we take only IPL performance into account, then his batting average is merely 6 runs, and the Highest score of 15 is not promising either. He will be expected to look beyond these numbers and repeat the batting performance that he has had during the recent international games. Otherwise, it will be a matter of time he could end up in the same line as Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, and Jaydev Unadkat Et al.
Delhi Capital will be definitely eyeing him as the team's backbone who gives batting order the depth and can strike with his slower balls whenever the partnership is building on the crease. He has been able to do this for his previous franchise CSK. DC will use Shardul along with left-arm seamers like Chetan Sakariya and Khaleel Ahmed to cause headaches to any batting lineup.
The kind of player Shardul Thakur is, Delhi Capitals will be delighted and happy to have him on the roster. Now it's up to the think tank, coaches, and Thakur himself to make his position count and justify his signing. The DC fans expect nothing but the trophy this time, and Shardul Thakur will definitely have a major role to play.