Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has said that Shardul Thakur is making a strong case for himself to be picked for the T20 World Cup.
Thakur scored a blistering knock of 57 runs off just 36 balls as he batted at the top of his game in the first innings of the Oval Test against England on Thursday. The right-hander joined forces with Rishabh Pant when the team was struggling at 117-6.
Pant was also dismissed after 10 runs were added and thus India was under the pump. However, Thakur decided to take the attack to the opposition as he scored the fastest ever Test fifty in England, getting to the landmark in just 32 balls and broke Ian Botham’s record.
Thakur has shown that he can consistently find the boundaries. The right-hander from Mumbai had the rub of the green on his side on some occasions but he was able to strike cleanly and smashed three sixes.
Aakash Chopra believes Shardul Thakur can be picked as a seam-bowling all-rounder and he can replace Hardik Pandya if the latter is unavailable. The renowned commentator admitted that Pandya is a better batsman than Thakur but the latter is a better bowler than the former.
Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube Channel, “He is not just scoring runs. He is asking you to pick him for the World T20 because he is bringing you that option. You obviously miss Hardik Pandya but if he is not there, Shardul Thakur is presenting himself as an option.”
“Hardik might be a better batsman than him, no doubt, but he is a better bowler than Hardik. So he is saying that if you are searching for a package, he could be the guy.”
Chopra, the former Delhi player, added Thakur did a fantastic job. India was struggling at 127-7 but Thakur was able to help his team post 191 runs in the first innings. Thakur knew he had to go for the big shots and he was able to deliver for the team. In fact, Shardul had also dismissed Joe Root in the first innings of the first Test match.
“When Rishabh Pant got out, I thought we are gone. But after that Shardul comes and shines. He did a fantastic job. Lord Shardul, again and again – Brisbane, he scored the runs. He was actually net bowler in that series but played the match, scored the runs and took wickets as well.”
“Then in Nottingham, he got Root out in the first innings and Buttler in the second innings. He gives you the important wickets. Here you were 127/7 and he gave you a half-century in which he smashes the England bowlers quite a bit. You reach 191, it is just down to Shardul Thakur once again.”