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Shine on, Shardul Thakur!

Be it the longer version of the game or the shortest format, bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has been India skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to man whenever needed across the last one year or so. The Mumbai-based fast bowler has also played a vital role in taking his Chennai Super Kings side to the final of IPL-14, claiming 18 wickets from 15 games this season.    

It’s this top form that has resulted in Thakur, 29, who was earlier picked as a stand-by for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman and UAE from October 17, replacing left-arm spinner Axar Patel in India’s final squad of 15 on Wednesday.

Narendra Thakur and Dinesh Lad

Lad not surprised

Thakur’s childhood coach Dinesh Lad was expecting the development. “The way Shardul has been performing across the last year in all formats, he should have been in the original 15-member squad for this World Cup. Anyway, now it seems that the BCCI’s selection committee [led by former India pacer Chetan Sharma] have rectified their mistake. I am confident that Shardul will continue making match-winning contributions with both ball and bat in the UAE,” Lad told mid-day on Wednesday.  

Thakur has 31 wickets to his name in 22 T20Is so far.

Shardul’s father, Narendra meanwhile, is also confident that his son will do well at the T20 World Cup. “Though Shardul was in the reserves earlier, I’ve been expecting him to get a chance in final 15. He played well in England, where he performed with both bat and ball. Then the way he has been bowling in the IPL and taking wickets, he has shown that he is in good form.

‘Great honour’

“This is a great honour that Shardul is getting this opportunity to represent the country in the World Cup. I hope that he will continue his all-round performance. I want him to take minimum of two wickets in every game he plays,” said Thakur Sr. 

No. of wickets claimed by Shardul Thakur in 22 T20Is

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