Having worked considerably on his skill-sets, speedster Shardul Thakur feels that he has become a "better T20 bowler" compared to what he was a couple of years back.
Thakur featured in his first T20 International in 22 months. The figures of 3/23 showed that there has been a marked improvement in his death bowling since the 2018 Nidahas T20 Trophy in Sri Lanka where he was a batsman's delight.
"I feel T20 is such a short format, there are always going to be ups and downs. The more you play, the more experienced you get and you keep learning. Whereas first-class and Test cricket are formats where you have time to think about your game but in T20 you don't have that time," Thakur said following India's seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.
Playing IPL regularly over the past couple of seasons has been one of the reasons for his success, feels Thakur.
"So whenever you practice, you need to add to your strengths and keep bettering your skills. Over a period of time, while practising I have been developing my skills and brushing it up. Playing last two-three years in the IPL, and domestic cricket, I have gotten better," Thakur said.
Like all the young pacers, Thakur also spoke about the contribution from Indian team's bowling coach Bharat Arun as it's difficult to manage sessions with a personal coach in a heavy duty cricket calendar.
"At this point, it is very difficult to work with a particular coach because I am in and out of the Indian team. Sometimes I play for Mumbai, then Chennai Super Kings. Now I am again with the Indian team. But recently, our bowling coach (India) Bharat Arun has been really helpful," said Thakur.
He picked all his wickets against Sri Lanka in the penultimate (19th) over and his plan was to keep things simple.
"I just had to bowl as many dot balls (that) I could. Luckily, I got three wickets there. It is satisfying. I have been working hard for it. When it pays off in an international game, it makes me really happy," said the Mumbai pacer.
Sri Lanka could only manage 142 for nine, which India chased down comfortably. Thakur said it was a below-par total considering the conditions.
"The pitch was very good. It was about 170-180 wicket. I don't think it was difficult to score runs on that pitch. There was no dew also today."
He also praised fellow fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who too impressed.
"He was really good in this game. The way he uses his bouncers and yorkers is creditable. He was also bowling with some gas," added Thakur.