Former Indian cricketer Maninder Singh has opined that he would continue with even an 80 per cent fit Ishant Sharma over Shardul Thakur for the experience he provides to the team. Ishant wasn’t picked for the first Test owing to his fitness concerns and Shardul Thakur had a brilliant outing in the first Test. However, an injury prompted Shardul out of the Lord’s Test and Ishant replaced him.
The tall seamer who has played over 100 Tests for India showed his experience and was among the wickets column in both innings. He also provided breakthroughs at crucial times and kept hitting the tough lines for the batsmen to score. Ishant picked up 3 wickets in the first innings and backed it up with 2 wickets in the second innings.
Maninder Singh Concerned About Ishant’s Fitness
Maninder Singh was very clear in his opinion of picking Ishant Sharma over Shardul Thakur for the Headingley Test but was concerned about the way Ishant was in his bowling stride looking just half fit. However, Maninder Singh lauded Ishant for picking up wickets at the right intervals for India and added that Ishant had picked up wickets at crucial times.
“The way he was bowling, he wasn’t looking 100 per cent fit to me. If Ishant Sharma is fit, I would go in with Ishant Sharma and use his experience because he got us wickets at important times even though I thought he wasn’t fit enough with the way he was strolling to the wicket. But that experience counted,” Maninder Singh told on ESPN Cricinfo.
Maninder Singh Feels India Might Stick With Ishant
The only reason for Shardul Thakur to get a look in would be the batting abilities he provides down the order. But at the moment, the way Bumrah and Shami have been batting, it is going to be difficult for Shardul to get a nod. Maninder Singh also reckoned that India will stick with even an 80 per cent fit Ishant Sharma.
“So even if he is 90 per cent fit or 80 per cent fit, I think the Indian team think-tank is going to go in with Ishant Sharma,” he added.
Maninder Singh represented India in 35 Tests and 59 ODIs throughout his international career.