Pacer Shardul Thakur has been added to India’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup in place of all-rounder Axar Patel, the Indian cricket board announced on Wednesday.
Axar Patel has been moved to India’s list of stand-by players for the seminal tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
The BCCI said in its official release:
“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.”
Thakur was earlier among the reserves with Deepak Chahar and Shreyas Iyer.
Here is India’s full squad: 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 BCCI also named eight players who will join the Indian team’s bubble to assist with their preparations.
The players are Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Shardul Thakur brought in amid doubts on Hardik Pandya’s bowling
India had named just three pacers in their initial 15-man squad, with Hardik Pandya there as a bowling all-rounder.
However, Pandya did not bowl a single delivery in all of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, raising concerns about his ability to pitch in with the ball in the marquee event.
Shardul Thakur, meanwhile, continued his good form for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, picking up 18 wickets in 15 matches so far. More than the number of scalps, Thakur has shown he can get important wickets and break crucial partnerships time and again.
He is also handy with the bat and can score quick runs down the order if needed, adding to India’s depth in the department.
India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24.