Former India selector and cricketer Sarandeep Singh has a piece of advice for the Indian selectors and the team management to look at Shardul Thakur as an all-rounder for the 2023 World Cup in India.
The all-rounder was effective in India’s victory at The Oval in the fourth Test as he scored fifty in both of his innings and claimed the important wickets of England opener Rory Burns and skipper Joe Root on the final day as India won by 157 runs.
I have always been Shardul Thakur’s biggest fan: Sarangdeep Singh
Shardul, who sustained a hamstring injury ahead of the Lord’s Test, scored 1444 runs and picked 221 wickets for Mumbai in first-class cricket. Sarangdeep wants the team management to groom him for the next edition of the World Cup at home by including him in all ODI and Test matches for India in the next two years.
“Start grooming him for the 2023 ODI World Cup. From now on, consider him as an all-rounder. You need a batsman like him at No 7, and he’s a good fielder too. He must consistently feature in the XI in Tests and ODIs, if not the T20Is,” Sarangdeep told Times of India.
“I’ve always been his biggest fan. I’ve seen him come through the grind of bowling 25-30 overs per innings in first-class cricket for Mumbai. Ladaku cricketer hai (he is a fighting cricketer), with a positive attitude. Even in India, Shardul should be your second pacer after Bumrah, as you need an all-rounder,” he added.
If Shardul Thakur had played in the World Test Championship final, India would have an ICC Trophy: Sarangdeep Singh
In June this year, India lost to New Zealand in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship final in Southampton. Sarangdeep feels if Shardul would have played for India in the WTC final then the trophy would have come into India’s cabinet.
“If he had played in the World Test Championship final (against New Zealand, at Southampton in June), we would have won an ICC trophy for the first time since 2013. His presence in the line-up would’ve given this team a well-deserved ICC title, which is still missing from its cabinet,” Sarandeep asserted.
“Those conditions were ideal for his type of bowling, and he would have added depth to our batting,” he added.
India are currently leading the five-match Test series 2-1 against England and aim to win their first Test series in their backyard since 2007.