All-rounder Shardul Thakur has been added to the India squad for the International T20 Cup at the expense of Axar Patel, who has been demoted to the standby players category, which also has Deepak Chahar and Shreyas Iyer. The move to include Shardul Thakur in the team could be inspired by the fact that BCCI is still uncertain if Hardik Pandya will bowl in the mega event or not. Pandya was selected in the squad as an all-rounder but the Mumbai Indians player didn’t bowl a single over in the Indian Premier League (IPL). There were speculations that Hardik might be dropped from the squad but the BCCI decided to stick with him given the impact he can have on a game.
The development was confirmed in a press release by BCCI which also revealed that eight players -Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K Gowtham, will assist India in their preparations for the showpiece event.
Shardul Thakur has enjoyed a decent run in the Indian Premier League so far, picking up 13 wickets in eight games in the UAE leg. With CSK already in the playoffs, he is likely to add few more wickets to his tally. Shardul has become an integral part of the India setup owing to his extra skills with the bat. Over the last year or so, Thakur has played several high impact innings which has helped him cement his place in the Indian squad.
India will open their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. Ahead of the cracking encounter, the team will play a couple of warm-up games against England and Australia on October 18 and 20 respectively.
Here’s the updated 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
Standby Players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel
Net Bowlers: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.