The national selectors decided on Wednesday to add Shardul Thakur to the Indian 15-man team for the World Cup T20 which will be launched in the United Arab Emirates next week. Thakur’s inclusion occurs at the expense of the left arm spinner in the form Axar patel.
The movement continued Hardik pandyaThe inability to prove that he could throw a full quota of overs during the World Cup. TOI had reported Sunday that the selectors were unsure of Hardik’s availability as a bowler and therefore considered landing a fast bowler in the first 15.
Thakur’s ability to hit the bat earned him a spot on the main team ahead of Deepak Chahar, who remains on hold along with Axar and Shreyas Iyer.
Hardik Pandya is unlikely to bowling in the upcoming T20 World Cup. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav / Getty Images)
‘It came down to choosing between Axar and Rahul’
Hardik has confirmed that he is unlikely to bowling at the T20 World Cup. The selectors first went with a squad with a short pacemaker, believing it will skyrocket its share of overs. “Now that he has backed down, you have to bring a pacemaker,” a source close to the selectors told TOI.
The selectors were stuck in a solution given the shortage of power hitters who could finish an inning at No. 6 and No. 7. Ishan Kishan is seen largely as a starting option. That helped Hardik retain his spot as a hitter.
As for dropping Axar, who has clearly been the best spinner after Varun Chakravarthy at IPL, it all came down to maintaining variety on the team.
Axar was seen largely as an endorsement for Ravindra Jadeja. Leg spinner Rahul Chahar, who was benched by Mumbai Indians Recently, he held his place because he offered variety in attack. Yuzvendra Chahal’s last hope of joining the squad after a good run of form in the IPL second leg is gone.
“It literally came down to choosing between Axar and Rahul Chahar. Ashwin and Chakravarthy were chosen because they are seen as impact throwers. Unfortunately, Axar is a Jadeja-like left-arm spinner,” added the source.
Karn’s ‘lucky pet’ chosen as net launcher
The selectors also added eight players as net pitchers. Avesh Khan, Umran Malik and Harshal Patel were the obvious choices. Venkatesh Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed and K Gowtham also earned their spots. But leg spinner Karn Sharma has also found a niche as a net thrower.
He has been with the Chennai Super Kings and has barely played an IPL match in two years. His domestic performances have not set the stage on fire, either. Sharma is widely believed to be considered a lucky mascot for teams, both state and IPL.