Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Scott Styris believes Shardul Thakur isn’t as good an all-rounder as Hardik Pandya and is only fighting for a backup spot in the Indian ODI side.

Shardul Thakur is one of the five pacers in the 16-member Indian squad for the ODI series against the West Indies. However, he is arguably the only one among the pacers who can wield the willow.

Shardul Thakur in action (File Photo) Image Source : GETTY
Shardul Thakur in action (File Photo) Image Source: GETTY

Scott Styris: Shardul Thakur Isn’t As Good As Hardik Pandya And Is Fighting For A Backup Spot In Indian Team

During an interaction, Scott Styris was asked if Shardul Thakur should play all three ODIs against the Windies, considering that he is an all-rounder.

He replied: “That’s the one thing he has to his advantage is that he bats. The downside is the emergence of Hardik Pandya as a genuine all-rounder. Do you need two of those style of players because Shardul Thakur isn’t as good as Hardik Pandya, I don’t believe as an all-rounder.”

Scott Styris (Image Credit: Twitter)
Scott Styris (Image Credit: Twitter)

Scott Styris added that the Mumbai all-rounder Shardul Thakur could be considered a backup option in the full-strength Indian squad. Shardul Thakur has played 8 Tests, 25 T20Is, and 19 ODIs and has picked 27, 33, and 25 scalps in the 3 formats respectively. He averages 40.16 in bowling in ODIs but has a better bowling average of around 23-24 in Tests and T20Is.

Hardik Pandya was recently named the Player of the Series against England as India won the ODI series 2-1. The all-rounder was at his best with both the ball and the bat, as he made 100 runs and picked 6 wickets in the series. His best of 71 and 4/24 came in the third and final ODI itself.

The former New Zealand all-rounder explained: “So maybe he is fighting for a backup spot rather than one of the players to play as a frontline. We have seen him play many match-winning innings for India, usually in the longer versions of the game but he does have that ability to hit boundaries, closing out innings or putting the final touches, the cherry on the top if you like.”

Shardul Thakur has picked up 25 wickets in the 19 ODIs he has played to date. He has scored 205 runs at a decent average of 34.16 in these games, including an unbeaten half-century against South Africa.

Scott Styris: Mohammed Shami Has Taken A Big Step Forward Ahead Of Backup Pacer Mohammed Siraj Who Disappointed In IPL 2022

Scott Styris was further asked about Mohammed Siraj’s place on the Indian ODI side.

He responded: “It is all about balance and head-to-head matchups. For me he was up against Mohammad Shami as a direct comparison, quick through the air, skiddy, not that tall necessarily, doesn’t get a lot of bounce, he will do you through pace and maybe depending on where the game is being played, a little bit of reverse.”

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj (Credits: Twitter)

Scott Styris reckons Mohammad Shami has stolen a march over Mohammed Siraj in recent times. Mohammed Shami recently broke the record of Ajit Agarkar to become the fastest Indian bowler to 150 ODI wickets.

The cricketer-turned-analyst explained: “I think Shami has taken a big step forward. Therefore, Siraj is behind the eight ball if you like. Maybe looking for a backup role as well. He had a really disappointing Indian T20 league for a player I had a lot higher expectations from, and that’s why Shami is in the queue in front of him.”

Mohammed Siraj has picked up seven wickets in the five ODIs he has played thus far. He bowled a double-wicket maiden in his first over in the final game of the recent ODI series against England. He was taken to the cleaners thereafter and ended up conceding 66 runs in the nine overs he bowled.

Ever since he made his ODI debut in 2019, Mohammed Siraj has only been able to play 5 ODI matches, taking 7 wickets at an economy rate of 5.22, with his best bowling figures being 3/29 against the West Indies during the home series earlier this year.

Mohammed Siraj failed to put up a praiseworthy performance in this year’s IPL 2022. In 15 games, he managed to pick up only 9 wickets and had an economy rate of more than 10 runs per over. Before the start of the season, Mohammed Siraj was one of the three players retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore-RCB. The Bengaluru-based outfit had retained him for Rs 7 crore after his impressive outings in the last couple of years (IPL 2020 and 2021).