T20 World Cup 2021: Shardul Thakur Replaces Axar Patel in India Squad

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Chennai Super Kings’ bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has been added to India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in place of Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel. The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) announced this key decision on Wednesday.

In a statement, BCCI wrote, “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.”

The BCCI gave no specific reason for this decision. However, the board may have been forced to take this step to bring in a fast-bowling all-rounder option with still clouds over Hardik Pandya’s availability as a bowling option in the upcoming T20 World Cup. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder has not bowled regularly since his back surgery in 2019 and did not bowl for Mumbai Indians in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

AS for Shardul Thakur, he has been Chennai Super Kings’ highest wicket taker in IPL 2021 season with 18 scalps to his name. On the other hand, Axar Patel, with 15 wickets is Delhi Capitals’ second-highest wicket-taker.

Shardul may not have scored runs with the bat in this season’s IPL, but he is a handy customer with the willow. In four Test Matches that he has played so far, he has scored 190 runs at an average of 38.00. His record partnership of 123 runs for the seventh wicket with Washington Sundar is one for the history books. Shardul made 67, while Sundar made 62. Then his innings during the Nottingham Test where he made 57 in 36 balls in the first innings, including a 31-ball half-century, the fastest in Tests played in England. He followed that up with a 72-ball 60 in the second innings.

Meanwhile, the BCCI also announced that Delhi Capitals pacer Avesh Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Umran Malik, and RCB’s Harshal Patel would “join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations.”

Other players who will remain in the UAE with the Indian camp to assist the team include Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K Gowtham.

India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: 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 ShamiStand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel

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Vishwas Gupta