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'South Africa Is One Of The Most Difficult Countries' - Shardul Thakur Ahead Of 1st Test vs SA

image-lqj6ai49Shardul Thakur best test figure 7-61 vs South Africa in 2nd test in 2022(x.com)

After the thrilling T20I & ODI series, the stage is set for the upcoming Test series in South Africa, Indian all-rounder Shardul Thakur emphasized the unique challenges that players face when competing in the cricketing landscape of the rainbow nation. Thakur, who is gearing up for the Boxing Day Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, highlighted the unpredictable nature of South African pitches, stressing the importance of adaptability.

Expressing his views on the challenging conditions, Thakur remarked, 

“I think South Africa is one of the most difficult countries to play Test cricket in. Considering the pitch conditions, even if we play all over the country, this is one country where you can’t expect what you will get from the pitch, so it's very important to go out there, play the game, and on the game day, judge the conditions of the pitch and the ground, putting yourself in a position to give your best accordingly.”

The 32-year-old also shed light on the significance of acclimatizing to South Africa's high altitude, a factor that can significantly impact players' endurance and performance.

 "As I adapt to the climate, I've noticed that this area has a slightly higher altitude. Thus, it's critical to feel the ball when rushing around or bowling on a day when you shouldn't be out of breath." according to Thakur.

He further emphasized the physical challenges posed by the altitude, stating, 

"When you're short of breath, still manage that and bowl out there, or if you're batting, running between the wickets, how you can continue your innings. That is among the most difficult circumstances in South Africa."

Thakur, who has played three Test matches in South Africa, boasts an impressive record, having picked up 12 wickets with his best bowling figure of 7/61. Despite India's historical struggle in the country, winning only four out of 23 Test matches with a win percentage of 17.39%, Thakur exuded confidence in the team's ability to tackle the challenges.