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WTC final: Shardul Thakur is my pick if India will play four seamers, says former selector Sarandeep Singh

Former selector Sarandeep Singh feels that Indian team management should go with Shardul Thakur if they are planning to field four seamers against New Zealand in the World Test Championship, starting on June 18.

Shardul Thakur delivered a match-winning all-round performance at the Gaba against Australia

Shardul Thakur delivered a match-winning all-round performance at the Gaba against Australia (Courtesy: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Shardul over Siraj because of his batting ability, says Sarandeep Singh
  • Shardul took 7 wickets and scored 67 runs in the first innings at the Gaba
  • India will face New Zealand in the World Test Championship

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh believes that India should go with Shardul Thakur instead of Mohammed Siraj as the fourth fast bowling option if there is an overcast condition at Southampton in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

In an interview with PTI, Sarandeep said: “If conditions are overcast, then you can play an extra fast bowler after Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammad Shami. My pick would be Shardul though Siraj has also done very well.”

The 29-year-old, playing only his second Test match, delivered a match-winning all-round performance at the Gaba against Australia in India’s historic series win in the down under. Thakur bagged seven wickets (3-94 & 4-61) and scored a crucial 67 in the first innings at the Gaba. Shardul bowled just 10 balls in his Test debut before limping off with a groin injury against West Indies at Hyderabad in October 2018.

“You will need batting options in the lower order, and Shardul gives you that. The ball will do a bit at Southampton, and Shardul is good at swinging the ball. He has years of experience in domestic cricket and has a very sharp cricketing mind,” said Sarandeep.

As things stand, India are likely to go in with three pacers and the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the final beginning June 18.

“If a fourth pacer is picked, then Jadeja, unfortunately, will have to sit out. Ashwin should play as there are quite a few left-handers in the New Zealand side,” said Sarandeep.

The batting unit looks pretty settled, but Sarandeep said it would be an important series for young opener Shubman Gill, who could not replicate his success in Australia in the home series against England.

“Shubman is a class act. I am confident he would do well and most probably start with the WTC final with Rohit. He did not have the best of times against England at home. I hope he finds a way to bounce back in their backyard,” said Sarandeep.

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