Shardul Thakur: Former Indian captain K. Srikkanth has raised concerns about Shardul Thakur’s presence in India’s 2023 ODI World Cup squad. He advised the selection committee, led by Ajit Agarkar, not to just gew away solely by Thakur’s overall performance statistics.
Shardul Thakur’s international records
Shardul Thakur’s international career began in the 50-over format in 2017 when he made his debut against Sri Lanka. Over the course of 40 matches in this format, he secured 59 wickets with an average of 29.12. In the Test format, the versatile bowler played his inaugural match in 2018 against West Indies and participated in 10 matches, claiming a total of 30 wickets. Shardul also entered the T20I arena, making his debut in 2022 against West Indies, and went on to play 25 matches in which he took 33 wickets.
At the age of 31, Shardul Thakur is currently a part of the Indian team in Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup 2023. In India’s most recent group match against Nepal in the ongoing tournament, the all-rounder bowled four overs, giving away 26 runs and securing one wicket during the first innings of the game.
Speaking on Star Sports after India unveiled their squad, the former Indian player emphasised the need for a batsman in the eighth position for the Indian team. He highlighted that the bowling all-rounder in that role has been struggling to contribute with the bat. Srikkanth further pointed out that Shardul Thakur didn’t even complete ten overs, citing his four-over spell in the match against Nepal as an example.
What did Srikkanth say?
Srikkanth said, “Everyone is saying we need a batter at No. 8…who needs a batter at No. 8? Shardul Thakur jakar 10 pe batting kar raha hai, 10 overs bhi nahi dal raha hai. (Shardul Thakur is only scoring 10 there, and he doesn’t even bowl for 10 overs.) In the match against Nepal, how many overs did he bowl? 4 only. “Don’t see performances against sides like the West Indies or Zimbabwe. Acha performance hai, mind mein rakhlo. Unko importance mat dedo. (Yes, if he performs well, then keep that in the back of your mind, but don’t give importance to that.)”
Continuing further, he said, “Instead, stress performances against teams like Australia or New Zealand. That is why I say isliye overall averages dikhana nahi chahiye (Don’t get fooled by overall averages; always look at individual matches).”
The Indian cricket team is set to commence their ODI World Cup journey with a match against Australia on October 8th at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Additionally, they will face Babar Azam’s Pakistan on October 14th at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.