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Shardul Thakur hits second-fastest Test fifty by an Indian

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Shardul Thakur was India’s man of the hour in the first innings of the fourth Test against England at the Oval as he scored the second-fastest Test fifty by an Indian. It took the 29-year-old just 31 balls to score his second half-century in Test cricket.

Walking in to bat at No. 8 with India reeling at 117/6, Shardul took the England bowlers to the cleaners. He hit seven fours and three sixes and finished his innings with 57 runs in 36 balls. Eventually it was an intelligent review by England that sent him back to the pavilion after he was trapped in front of the stumps.

Shardul had only made it to the starting XI at the expense of Mohammed Shami, who missed the match due to some minor niggles and he made every moment count. He put together an important 63-run partnership with Umesh Yadav as India scored 191 runs in the first innings. 

Quite interestingly, en-route to his blitzkrieg half century, Shardul broke Sir Ian Botham’s record of fastest Test fifty in England. Botham had achieved the feat by reaching his half-century off just 32 deliveries in 1986 at the same venue. The record stood for 35 years until the Mumbai-lad broke it. 

Shardul knock saw him go past legendary opener Virender Sehwag, who had scored his Test fifty in 32 balls against England in 2008 and was in second spot for fastest fifties in red-ball cricket by Indians.

Fastest Test fifties by Indians





Kapil Dev




Shardul Thakur




Virender Sehwag




Former skipper, Kapil Dev still holds the record for fastest Test fifty by an Indian. The World Cup-winning captain reached his half-century in just 30 deliveries against Pakistan in 1982. His effort, however, went in vain as Pakistan won the match by an innings and 86 runs.

Overall, Misbah-ul-Haq’s record of a 21-ball fifty against Australia in 2014 is still the number to beat. After Misbah, the likes of David Warner (23 balls), Jacques Kallis (24 balls), Shane Shillingford (25 balls) and Shahid Afridi (26) complete the top five list of fastest half-century in Test cricket in terms of balls faced.

Featured photo : Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

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