Former English spinner Monty Panesar has thrown weight behind the team selection conundrum between Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja for the Indian team management ahead of their first Test against England. Hardik Pandya’s injury concerns made the BCCI leave him for the England tour as they went ahead with Shardul as their fast bowling all-rounder.
However, selecting Shardul Thakur in the playing XI might cost team India the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, who is arguably the best all-rounder in world cricket at the moment given his contributions with the bat, the ball, and on the field. However, Thakur is much more adept at the English conditions and this could be a massive reason behind his selection in the first eleven of the first Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Monty Panesar Opines On Shardul Thakur’s Inclusion In The Indian Playing XI For The Nottingham Test
Former English spinner Monty Panesar, in an exclusive chat with Cricketaddictor, said, “Shardul Thakur’s inclusion in the first eleven depends on how much grass there is on the wicket. Usually, there’s quite a bit of grass at Trent Bridge. Shardul Thakur can thus play as he naturally bowls the English length too and that is what India needs as it brings balance to the side.”
“Shardul’s selection also depends on the weather. If the weather holds up well, then that plays another role when it comes to deciding between Jadeja and Shardul. India are well balanced at the moment and when you look at the whole squad, they have got quite a few options,” Monty further stated.
Shardul Thakur Has Made Slow Inroads In Test Cricket
Shardul has not been one of India’s go-to all-rounders in the Test format as a lot of Test cricket over the last couple of years and more has been played at home by the Men in Blue. However, he has had the opportunity of donning the whites for the India National Cricket Team on a couple of occasions and he has already been impressive with the bat and the ball.
In the famous Gabba win over Australia earlier this year by team India, Shardul Thakur played a massive role as he picked four wickets in the first innings and also smashed a half-century in the lower order which eventually proved to be the difference between both sides as India marched on to a historic win on the Australian soil.