Poll: Fans vote for Shardul Thakur as man of the match for Oval Test

NEW DELHI: India produced a bowling masterclass on a flat deck at The Oval to beat England by 157 runs in the fourth Test and go 2-1 up in the five-Test series. And though he was not adjudged the man of the match, Shardul Thakur‘s role was no less important in fashioning India’s victory.
Thakur hit a half-century in both the innings and also took three wickets in the match, including the crucial scalp of England captain Joe Root in the second innings.
We ran a poll asking our readers as to who should have been the man of the match among Rohit Sharma (who was named the man of the match), Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
In a span of about 2 hours, over 76% of readers picked Thakur for the man of the match award for his contribution with both the ball and the bat.
Rohit was second with over 15% of the votes while Bumrah and Yadav got 6.5% and 1.1% votes respectively.
Interestingly, Rohit himself said that Thakur should also have been named man of the match alongside him.
Put into bat, India were 127/7 when Thakur, batting at No. 8, launched a spectacular counter-attack to top score for his side with a 36-ball 57. With the ball, Thakur dismissed Ollie Pope, whose 81 was the highest score in England’s first innings.
Thakur then made a breezy 60 in the second innings and claimed two crucial wickets to clear the path for India’s victory. Chasing 368, England were cruising at 100 for no loss when Thakur dismissed Rory Burns to break the stand. Thakur then effectively sealed the match when he dismissed England’s in-form captain Root for 36.
No wonder, Thakur was the fans’ choice for the man of the match award.
Rohit was named the man of the match for his brilliant 127 in the second innings. India conceded a 99-run first innings lead but Rohit’s century powered them to 466 in their second innings. 245 votes were polled in favour of Rohit being named the man of the match correctly.
104 votes were polled in favour of Jasprit Bumrah who produced what pundits called the “spell of the summer”. On a pitch that offered little for the seamers, Bumrah generated reverse swing with the old ball to trouble the batsmen and breached Ollie Pope’s defence and, in his next over, clean bowled Jonny Bairstow for a duck with a searing, inswinging yorker. That 6-3-6-2 spell by the seamer made sure England’s collapse was just a matter of time.
18 votes were polled in favour of Umesh Yadav, who took six wickets in the match and ended the proceedings when he had James Anderson caught behind off the new ball shortly after tea on Day 5. Umesh, who had clean bowled Root in the first innings, showed that he is no less effective than the Indian team management’s first choice quartet of pacers.
The fifth Test starts at Old Trafford on Friday.

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