Shardul Thakur’s all-round performance in the ongoing five-Test series against England has virtually assured him of a place in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup, to be played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
The national selection panel, headed by former India pacer Chetan Sharma, is likely to pick the team on Wednesday. Hardik Pandya’s back injury has prevented him from bowling regularly, and Thakur’s inclusion will provide a much-needed backup in the pace bowling all-rounder department.
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It will be interesting to see the number of stand-bys that the selectors decide to pick. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the International Cricket Council has put a cap of 30 individuals for the whole contingent, including the 15-member squad.
With India’s support staff extending to 16 or 17 members in the recent past, the selectors and the team management will have to decide whether India requires to pick more than three stand-bys.
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While Shreyas Iyer is set to be included in the squad, after recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered during the home series against England in March, it remains to be seen if the selectors pick Washington Sundar. Washington is understood to have recovered from the finger injury he suffered in England. However, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder will not feature in the UAE-leg of the Indian Premier League, which gets underway from September 19.