Versatile fast bowling player Shardul Thakur replaced Axar Patel in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17. Thakur, 29, impressed with his 18 wickets in the ongoing IPL for Chennai Super Kings.
The All-India senior selection committee, after a discussion with team management, added Shardul Thakur to the main team. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad, will now be on the reserve list, “BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
With versatile pace Hardik Pandya, who plays for the Mumbai Indians, not bowling during the IPL due to fitness issues, the selectors wanted cover for him.
“The coaches believed that they lacked a rhythm and that with Hardik Pandya not playing bowling they needed an all-rounder in the main squad,” a source close to the selection committee told PTI.
“Axar remains on stand by and if Ravindra Jadeja gets injured he will be back in the main squad again. Until Jaddu plays, Axar will not be needed.”
As reported by PTI, the coaches have also included Harshal Patel among the net throwers for the Indian team.
“The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and help Team India with their preparations: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham,” said the press release.
India will open its campaign against Pakistan on October 24.
The Indian team for the ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.
Reserve players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.