Shardul Thakur has been included in India’s main squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, replacing Axar Patel in the process. The fast-bowling all-rounder was part of the stand-by players along with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar.
With India only playing three fast bowlers in the form of Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Jasprit Bumrah and with Hardik Pandya unlikely to bowl as well, the change comes into place. Thakur has been enjoying a fruitful campaign with the CSK in the ongoing IPL and was a key part of India’s recently concluded tour of England.
The selection committee had selected five spinners namely Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy. Patel had to make way for Thakur to provide depth in the pace bowling unit but is still part of the squad after being moved down to the standby list. The BCCI released a statement announcing the change in the squad.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management has added Shardul Thakur to the main squad. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of stand-by players.
The team have three more days to announce any changes to the 15-man squad. The status of Hardik Pandya has been questioned given his inability to bowl and his poor patch with the bat as of late. However, it is being said that the team still has faith in him and expects him to make an impact as a pure batsman in the lower-middle order during the tournament.
India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel
The board has also announced the list of net bowlers who will stay back in the UAE to assist the team. Speedsters Umran Malik and Avesh Khan were announced earlier, and now six more members have been announced including purple cap holder Harshal Patel.
The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations:
Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.