New Delhi, October 13: Pace bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has replaced spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel to India's main squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Shardul - who is playing for Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing IPL 2021 in the UAE - has been rewarded for his good show in the second phase of the tournament.
The decision to include the right-arm pacer was taken on Wednesday (October 13) after a discussion between selectors and team management. Axar, who is part of the Delhi Capitals squad in the ongoing IPL playoffs stage, has been put on standby along with his IPL teammate Shreyas Iyer and Chennai Super Kings' swing bowler Deepak Chahar.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management has added Shardul Thakur to the main squad. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players," said BCCI honourary secretary Jay Shah.
Shardul has been doing exceedingly well for CSK and the Mumbaikar has emerged as a man with a golden arm due to his knack for getting crucial breakthroughs. He is also a decent batter lower down the order.
Thakur's inclusion into the main squad could be seen as a way to bolster India's pace department as senior quick Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still searching his form and there's still suspense whether Hardik Pandya is fit to bowl. However, the decision is also a little harsh on Patel who has had an excellent IPL 2021 with the ball.
Recently, Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Umran Malik, Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel and Delhi Capitals seamer Avesh Khan were amongst others to be added to India's T20 World Cup squad as net bowlers. Both the youngsters have been asked to stay back in the UAE after the conclusion of the IPL 2021. The IPL 2021 will end on Friday (October 15) and the Indian players will then join the remaining squad on the next day.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian side will play two warm-up games in the run-up to the showpiece event. India will face England and Australia in the warm-up encounters. Team India will square off against England on October 18 in Dubai and against Australia on October 20 at the same venue.
The T20 World Cup will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17. Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, clashing in the evening match.
Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and Namibia -- making up Group A -- will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till October 22.
The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12 stage of the tournament, beginning on October 23.
India's revised squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel
The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations as net bowlers: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.