Shardul Thakur says he has no injuries, isn't bowling since KKR are 'full of allrounders'

He did have a niggle, the KKR allrounder says, but is "back to bowling" now and ready to do the job if called upon

Shardul Thakur hasn't bowled much for KKR at the ongoing IPL  •  BCCI

Shardul Thakur hasn't bowled much for KKR at the ongoing IPL  •  BCCI

He doesn't have any injury concerns, and isn't bowling for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2023 only because of the surfeit of allrounders in the team, Shardul Thakur said on Tuesday.
"We have a side full of allrounders with [Andre] Russell, Sunil [Narine]... we have got maximum of eight bowling options that also includes Nitish [Rana], who also bowls an over or two nowadays," Thakur, who missed three matches during the course of the season because of a niggle, told PTI a day after KKR's last-ball win over Punjab Kings.
He has bowled just 14.5 overs across six bowling innings so far, picking up four wickets at an economy rate of 10.78. In the game against Kings, KKR used seven bowlers, but Thakur was not one of them.
"It also depends on the situation of the game, if the captain feels the need to bowl me or not bowl me completely depends on him," Thakur said. "As far as team's strategy, decision-making is concerned, I would not pay attention to it a lot.
"I had a small niggle, so I didn't play a few games, when I came back, I didn't bowl as I was not bowling-fit. But yes, now I'm back to bowling and hopefully whenever I get the ball, I will get the job done."
Thakur is one of five fast-bowling options in the India squad for the WTC final, to be played at The Oval against Australia from June 7. Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jaydev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav are part of the main squad, while Mukesh Kumar is among the reserves. So, for 31-year-old Thakur, there is a fair bit of work to do to keep the body in shape.
"It is difficult and not easy. It's difficult in the sense body-wise, because when you go in for practice, you literally have to do everything - fielding practice, bowl and bat," he said. "On top of that you have to do a bit of running around to stay fit.
"Overall, it's not easy but yeah that's the challenge in modern day's cricket that you have to manage your body to stay fit and keep going."

Shardul Thakur: 'In T20s, I'm ready to bat at any position'

At the IPL, Thakur has contributed more to KKR's cause with the bat, totalling 109 runs from 61 balls for a strike rate of 178.68, those numbers boosted by the 29-ball 68 he scored early in the tournament against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home at Eden Gardens.
"I always try to contribute with the bat whenever I get an opportunity," he said. "Obviously, I succeed and fail on fewer occasions. But that's completely part and parcel of the game.
"There is no preferred [batting] number, whenever the team asks me to bat, I'm ready to do it. In fact, in a game like T20, I'm ready to bat at any position.
"I padded up in a lot of games and they could have sent me at any position. In fact, I had padded up to go at No. 3 against Punjab Kings. The T20 game is such that you need to be ready at any given position.
"Overall, I'm enjoying my time at KKR. We come up with different ideas and strategies against the team, against individual batters. But it all depends how bowlers are executing their skills in the middle."