Former Indian cricketer and selector Sarandeep Singh believe that the time has come for the Virat Kohli-led team management to groom seam-bowling all-rounder, Shardul Thakur, given the fact that one still doesn’t know when Hardik Pandya will be fit enough to bowl in international cricket.
Indian cricket has grappled with the lack of a quality seam-bowling all-rounder for a long time and when Hardik Pandya burst on the scene, it looked as if their search was finally over.
However, ever since Hardik Pandya has made a comeback in international cricket following an injury to his troublesome back, Hardik Pandya has essentially played as a specialist lower-order batter whether it’s for India or his IPL franchise.
With Pandya unlikely to make it to the Test team as a seam-bowling all-rounder in the near future, Sarandeep Singh believes that the management should start grooming the likes of Shardul Thakur or even Vijay Shankar or Shivam Dube.
“You can’t be relying only on Hardik anymore. You don’t know when he will be fit enough to bowl in all formats so someone like Shardul needs to be groomed or even Vijay Shankar or Shivam Dube are there,” Sarandeep Singh told PTI.
The former Indian selector also called for the inclusion of talented seamer Mohammed Siraj in the playing 11 for the England series.
Singh said that it is the right time to blood in Siraj, adding that if there is a long gap then he might struggle to find the right length.
“There will be rotation in that series. It is the right time to blood in Siraj and give him as many games as you can. He is bowling well. If there is a long gap, he would find it tough to find the right length straightaway,” he said.
Sarandeep Singh reckoned that India should be flexible with regards to their playing 11, adding that they should go with an extra seamer in place of one of the spinners if the conditions are pacer friendly.
“A little flexibility is needed. You play your two spinners but if the conditions suit the pacers then play the extra seamer,” said Sarandeep Singh.