India picked up three wickets before Stumps on Day 1 of the 4th Test vs England.© AFP

India seamer Shardul Thakur reckons the visitors have an amazing opportunity to restrict England to a low first innings total after picking up the wicket of in-form Joe Root late on Thursday. India were bowled out for 191 in their first innings but managed to take three England wickets before Stumps on Day 1, including the big one of Root. “Their in-form batsman Joe Root is out. So, we have an amazing opportunity to restrict them to a low total so that we keep ourselves in the game and it goes on neck to neck,” Shardul said during a virtual press conference after the day’s play at The Oval.

Shardul scored a blistering half-century to save India the blushes and he revealed that the key to scoring runs in English conditions is playing with straight bat.

“The more you play with the straight bat in English conditions, the more runs you will get. The ball swings excessively so it’s better to play straight. My coaches tell me to play with straight bat and score as much as possible with the tail,” Shardul said.

“You have to take responsibility whether you are a pacer or a batsman. If you are playing for India, so whenever you get a chance you have to shoulder responsibility.

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“For me, it was a challenge and whenever I get to bat, I have to create such an impact that it opens the door for my team’s victory,” he added.

Shardul also opened up about his nickname ‘Lord’. “I have only two nicknames, Lord is just a meme started in social media but I am pretty happy that I am getting lots of love from the teammates & fans across the world,” he said.

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