Indian bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur is reportedly expected to travel to South Africa to be part of the India ‘A’ team that will take on South Africa ‘A’ in three first-class matches.
The 29-year-old Thakur was excluded from the T20 and Test squads against New Zealand to manage his workload. Therefore, he doesn’t have match practice behind him and the head coach, Rahul Dravid, has made it clear that every player traveling to play against the Proteas must have some game time under their belt.
Once he reaches South Africa, Thakur will only participate in the third game, according to a report that was published in The Indian Express. Although he didn’t fare well in the recently concluded T20 World Cup, Thakur is considered an asset in the Test setup.
In the away series against England earlier this August, Thakur was extremely impressive with both bat and ball. He scored two fifties in the fourth Test against England which India went on to win comfortably. With the ball, he contributed by picking up three crucial wickets in the same Test.
“He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind” – Bharat Arun on Shardul Thakur
Former Team India bowling coach Bharat Arun had words of praise for the 29-year-old Shardul Thakur, applauding the considerable amount of improvement he has shown in the longest format in particular.
“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?“
“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmph and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun was quoted as saying to The Indian Express.
Along with Thakur, a similar thought process regarding match practice is being followed with regard to Hanuma Vihari, who was included in the India ‘A’ squad at the eleventh hour.