Axar Patel: Shardul Thakur has been a consistent former for the side he has played for including CSK as well as the Indian team against England. The type of performance he has put in has made BCCI call him up in the upcoming T20 World Cup also to be held in UAE.
He replaced Axar Patel who was picked earlier but BCCI after some thought has swung their decision in the favour of Thakur. Axar, meanwhile, joins the list of standby players for the squad, along with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar. KKR to fight CSK for the IPL 2021 title.
The BCCI also announced eight players additionally to be joining the team’s bubble in Dubai to assist Team India in their preparations for the tourney. Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K Gowtham are the net bowlers.
The T20 World Cup will be played primarily in the UAE – where IPL 2021 is also currently in progress – with some games of the preliminary stage in Oman.
Thakur has had a good IPL season with Chennai Super Kings, who finished second in the league and won the first qualifier against Delhi Capitals to reach the final. He has picked up 13 wickets in the UAE leg of the tournament, joint third in the period. His strikes have been at key moments, which is reflected in a Smart Wickets tally of 17.5, narrowly behind Yuzvendra Chahal’s chart-topping 17.62. He hasn’t had much opportunity to bat, but he was sent up the order at No. 4 in the qualifier against Capitals, with a view to utilizing his ball-striking capacity. He, however, fell for a first-ball duck.
Indian squad currently has Hardik Pandya as a pace-bowling all-rounder, but the inclusion of Thakur makes some competition on that position as well. However, Hardik didn’t bowl during the IPL, and if he’s unable to do so in the T20 World Cup too, Thakur could be in line to fill that space.
Axar has also had a good IPL overall and in the UAE leg, being particularly impressed with his economic rate. He has likely been moved to the reserves since Ravindra Jadeja would be the first-choice pick for left-arm finger spinning allrounder in the team, and Axar provides an almost like-for-like option. Should Jadeja be injured or unavailable, Axar will come into the main squad.
Here’s the list of updated 15 member squad.
Updated 15-member Squad:Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
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