India all-rounder Shardul Thakur was confirmed fit ahead of the third Test against England to be played at Headingley in Leeds starting from August 25. India currently lead the series 1-0 after two Tests thanks to an amazing victory in the second match at Lord’s.
Shardul Thakur had played in the first Test between England and India at Trent Bridge but was ruled out of the Lord’s game due to a hamstring injury that was not considered serious. Ishant Sharma replaced Thakur in the playing XI and played a pivotal role in India’s win on day 5 with crucial wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Jonny Bairstow.
England failed to bat out the 60 overs for a draw on day 5 of the second Test at Lord’s chasing 272 runs for the win and was bowled out for 120 runs to lose by 151 runs. Mohammed Siraj was the star with the ball, claiming 8 wickets in the match, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami ruled with the bat and the ball.
Shardul Thakur Is Fit And Available For Selection: Ajinkya Rahane
Shardul Thakur was impressive with the ball in Nottingham picking 2 wickets each in both innings and swung the ball under favorable conditions. England captain Joe Root and Vice-captain Jos Buttler were amongst his dismissals and him missing the second Test due to a hamstring injury was a blow to India’s plans.
However, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has confirmed during a press conference that the Mumbai all-rounder is fit and available for selection for the third Test at Leeds.
“Shardul Thakur is fit and available for selection for the 3rd Test. Now, we have to look at which combination we are going with. All the fast bowlers are ready to play and they want to play as the break after the 2nd Test helped,” Ajinkya Rahane said at the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Whether Shardul plays in Leeds or not remains to be seen given the current form of Indian pace attack and also the conditions. As per the UK MET Office, the weather will remain clear with less than a 10% chance of rain. That means the pitch is expected to be dry. With the pitch expected to be a dead one, India might instead go in with two spinners and three pacers.