The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Shardul Thakur to the main squadafter having a deep discussion with the team management. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was in the 15-men squad will now be on the list of stand-by players. The other two stand-by players are Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar. Shardul Thakur has been added to India’s squad because team India would need a reliable backup option for Hardik Pandya, who is not fit enough to bowl in the recent past.
Pandya has not bowled regularly since his back surgery in 2019. Shardul Thakur has been one of the top players in IPL 2021 with 18 wickets from 15 games. Thakur’s contributions to the Chennai Super Kings has been phenomenal in this season. Thakur also has good batting skills and ability to score quick runs. Earlier this year, he proved it against England at Lords.
If Pandya misses out at some stage due to fitness concerns, then Thakur will take his spot in the Indian side as a fast bowling all-rounder. Shardul Thakur bowls well and strikes at crucial moments to bring back the team into the game. However, it is a harsh call to drop Axar Patel, who was in good form in the IPL.
BCCI announced that three pacers Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, and Harshal Patel will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in the nets. Other players who will remain in the UAE to assist the Indian team include Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Karn Sharma.