Former England spin bowler Monty Panesar said that Indian all-rounder Shardul Thakur will be a trump card for his team in the T20 World Cup.
Shardul was initially named as one of the three reserved players in India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On October 13, Shardul was drafted in India’s main squad as he replaced left-arm spinner Axar Patel, BCCI confirmed in a press release posted on its official website.
Shardul Thakur is a match-winner and is going to surprise a lot of players in the tournament: Monty Panesar
The Mumbai all-rounder’s inclusion will strengthen India’s pace bowling options as Hardik Pandya, who didn’t bowl a single over in IPL 2021, looks uncertain to bowl in the mega event.
Panesar called Shardul a match-winner and clubbed him in the ranks of England all-rounder Ben Stokes.
“Virat’s trump card will be Shardul Thakur. He is a guy who brings surprises with both bat and ball. Virat will be looking at Shardul in the tournament. And I am hundred percent confident trump card Shardul will win the World Cup for Virat,” Panesar told TimesofIndia.com.
“That’s why they have included him in the squad because he is a match-winner. The opposition considers him a “bits and pieces” cricketer. He is another Manoj Prabhakar for India. But I would compare Shardul with Ben Stokes. He is a match-winner and is going to surprise a lot of players in the tournament,” he added.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be key campaigners for India: Monty Panesar
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s selection in the Indian squad was one of the surprise picks of the T20 World Cup as the player hasn’t played a T20 International match since 2017.
If Ashwin makes it to India’s playing XI we could once again see him and Ravindra Jadeja bowling in tandem.
Panesar said that Ashwin and Jadeja will be key players for India in the showpiece event.
“For me, it will be Ashwin. He has got so much unpredictability. And Ravindra Jadeja. He is a game-changer with both bat and ball. He had a wonderful tournament with Chennai Super Kings,” Panesar said.
“Both of them are going to be key campaigners, because Ashwin can be wonderful in the powerplay and also in the death overs. He has done so well. If Jadeja and Ashwin perform well, India will win the T20 World Cup,” he added.
India will play their opening game of the Super 12 stage against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.