Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship final which is scheduled to be played from June 18 to 22 in Southampton all eyes are stuck on the Indian team as it's all set to feel the heat against New Zealand. India finished at the top of the World Test championship table and is a massive achievement to get into the finals. The Indian squad for the final was announced a month back and most of the players from the test series against England were retained. No wonder, the squad has put in lots of effort to get to the stage they are in and undoubtedly they deserve to be in the final.
While there have been opinion around that Shardul Thakur is a perfect choice in place of Hardik Pandya as his back injury has left him be careful before bowling again; leaving him out of the Test setup. With many former players backing Shardul to be a part of playing XI, Virat Kohli may pick up the right arm pacer ahead of R Ashwin. However, R Aswhin too has been backed by few former players to fit him in the team.
Shardul Thakur has been a very reliable performer for Mumbai in domestic cricket. His good record earned him a place in the Indian team as well. In recent times, Thakur has returned to limted-overs cricket and was also part of the historic Gabba victory for India over Australia. Not only did he hit a magnificent cover drive off Mitchell Starc, the 29-year-old partnered with Washington Sundar for 123 runs. The stand pulled India from 186 for 6 to 336 all-out, just 33 shorts of Australia's 1st innings total.
Thakur made his Test debut against West Indies in 2018. In all, he has played just two Tests till now and it’s his second Test that has become immortal in the minds of cricket fans. It was the famous Gabba Test where India registered an incredible win. Thakur played a key role in this win by picking up seven wickets in the match.
While in international cricket, Thakur’s first match was an ODI against Sri Lanka. He picked up 1/26 in 7 overs in that match which India won comfortably. Talking about his IPL performance,
However, Thakur did not play against England in the 4-match Test series but his childhood coach Dinesh Lad has opined that 10-12 days of practice in England before the match is the tonic the 29-year-old all-rounder needs.
To remind, India skipper and captain Virat Kohli was surprised that Shardul Thakur wasn't awarded the man of the match after India defeated England by seven runs in the third and final ODI at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on March.
Keeping in mind Shardul's these pros, Virat Kohli may pick the right arm pacer while facing New Zealand.