Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan have been included as the replacement of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav respectively in India’s squad for the third Test against Australia. While Shardul Thakur has the experience of one Test where he bowled only 10 balls before walking off the field due to injury, T Natarajan is yet to play a Test match.
With Navdeep Saini already in the Test squad, India has a big question in front of them to whom to select for the third pacer’s position in the playing XI. Pragyan Ojha and Deep Dasgupta had a big discussion on this and have echoed to give chance to Shardul Thakur as India needs a swinger.
Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha stated that Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah can bowl quick and thus, India is looking for a bowler who can swing the ball on day three. For which, they are likely to include Shardul Thakur in the playing XI.
“It’s a very clear choice. Shardul Thakur, who can swing the ball. His strength his swinging the ball, we need someone who can swing the ball. We have someone who can bowl fast, that is Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah. They can move the ball off the wicket, they’re quick. But if you want someone who can swing the ball then you can go for Shardul Thakur,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
Ojha has opined that Navdeep Saini aides in pacing the ball and thus, can be preferred for sending back the tailenders.
“And if you want someone who can bowl quick and hit the deck, you’ve got Navdeep Saini. So, this a luxury for you [Team India], at this point also when you have so many injuries. It’s up to the team management what they want,” Pragyan Ojha added.
Deep Dasgupta agrees with Pragyan Ojha:
Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta agrees with Pragyan Ojha for playing the fast-bowling allrounder Shardul Thakur considering the weather condition will favour him on day three in Sydney Test.
“I agree with Pragyan, because both of them [Saini and Shardul] are very different kind of bowlers. While Shardul is a swing bowler, Navdeep Saini is hit the deck kind of bowler. We already have Siraj and Bumrah like that, I don’t mind looking at Shardul Thakur,” Dasgupta told Sports Today.
“Somebody who can swing the ball 3 days, there will be overcast in Sydney. There is a forecast of storms. I won’t mind having someone like a Shardul Thakur,” he added.
The third Test will begin on January 7 at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).