Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein
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Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Shardul Thakur will play only the third India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. However, head coach Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.

India pacer Shardul Thakur has been asked to travel to South Africa to be part of the India A squad while batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked to stay with the Indian Test team, which will play two Tests against New Zealand at home.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur Was Added To India A Squad As Rahul Dravid Wants Every Player To Be Match Ready

Shardul Thakur wasn’t part of the T20I or Test squads against New Zealand as the national selection committee had decided to give the Mumbai pacer a break after being away from home for six months at a stretch playing cricket.

Shardul Thakur will play only the 3rd India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game. If picked for the South Africa series next month, Shardul Thakur wouldn’t have had any games behind him, if not for the A match.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

It was for the same reason that the Indian team sent Hanuma Vihari with India A side as the selection committee felt he might not have got any Tests against the Kiwis. They thought it would be better if he got a few games in India A series. Shardul Thakur played vital roles in Tests in Australia and later in England. It’s his batting that hogged the limelight when he slammed two half-centuries in the fourth Test against England.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies, where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 190 runs averaging 38, besides picking up 14 scalps averaging 22.71.

Shardul Thakur Is Coming Along Superbly, And Each Match There Is Tremendous Improvement In Both Batting And Bowling: Bharat Arun

The former bowling coach Bharat Arun had raved about the importance of Shardul Thakur.

“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?

“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmphs and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun said.

The BCCI is likely to pick the squad for the South Africa tour after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Meanwhile, there is no official communication on why middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav was asked to stay with the Indian Test squad. The squad already includes Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order batsman, and chances of him making a Test debut are looking promising enough. It seems the selection committee and BCCI don’t want to take a chance with the players’ health, especially during COVID-19 times.

The BCCI doesn’t want to be in a situation where a player gets infected, and they don’t have a replacement in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was sent as a backup player for the England tour, too, along with Prithvi Shaw, but they didn’t get to play a game.

In the ongoing 1st unofficial Test, South Africa A is batting first, and the score reads 98/2 in 27 overs, with Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla picking 1 wicket each. Priyank Panchal, Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rahul Chahar, Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Chahar, and Umran Malik are playing.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian opener KL Rahul has been reportedly ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand.

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