Shardul replaced Axar: India have made a solitary change to their 15-member T20 World Cup squad ahead of October 15 deadline.
In what has come as a surprising move by the Indian selection committee, pacer Shardul Thakur has been included into the 15-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in place of all-rounder Axar Patel.
The development was made public via on official update on BCCI’s (Board of Control for Cricket in India) website. Thakur will join the squad as a fourth fast-bowling option in addition to Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.
“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,” read BCCI’s statement.
Representing Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League, Thakur has been their best bowler and eighth-best overall on the back of picking 18 wickets in 15 matches so far at an average of 27.16, an economy rate of 8.75 and a strike rate of 18.61. Known to make things happen, Thakur was yet again seen picking wickets at crucial junctures for Super Kings this season.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 13, 2021
Shardul replaced Axar in India’s 2021 T20 World Cup squad
As far as Patel is concerned, Delhi Capitals all-rounder has also been among the wickets picking 15 of them at an average of 18.26, an economy rate of 6.52 and a strike rate of 16.80 to win a couple of ‘Man of the Match’ awards this season.
Patel will now join Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar as part of three standby players for the World Cup. Readers must note that Patel was part of a five-member spin contingent which also comprises of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy.
With Patel being a near-replica of Jadeja’s skills in the Indian team, there were high chances of him warming the bench throughout the world event as it was unlikely of India to play two almost same left-arm spinners in the same XI.
India squad 2021 T20 World Cup – Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.
Standby players – Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar.
It is worth mentioning that India will kick-start their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. India, who has most recently announced call-ups for Umran Malik, Avesh Khan and Venkatesh Iyer as net bowlers for the World Cup, have also named Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and Krishnappa Gowtham as players who will “assist Team India in their preparations”.