Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya is struggling to regain full fitness ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 to be held later this month. Indian selectors are confused whether to trust Pandya or include Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Shardul Thakur in the 15-man squad. Thakur with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar There are three standby players nominated by India for the T20 World Cup.
Mumbai all-rounder Thakur is currently the leading wicket-taker for MS Dhoni in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 with 15 wickets in 13 matches ahead of Dwayne Bravo (12 wickets) and Chahar (12 wickets). Pandya, on the other hand, has played only a few matches since IPL 2021 was shifted to UAE and has not bowled in any match.
Giving a positive update on his return to the bowling crease, Pandya said that he will do so soon. “Runs are important and especially when your team wins. It was important for my personal confidence but it was important to score for the team. We have to assess the wicket and adapt to the given time. The plans should be simple and win over the ball-by-ball odds. There is no substitute, but one thing is that these situations bring out the best in you. We realize it is a do or die game but we are just focusing on the controllable,” Hardik told host broadcaster Star Sports ahead of the game against Delhi Capitals last weekend.
Commenting on hitting the bowling crease, he said: “Aayega early. Koshish puri hai (I will bowl soon. Efforts are on).
Meanwhile, fans are already dreaming that ‘Lord’ Thakur is representing India in the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. “Just imagine Shardul Thakur is the man of the series in #WorldT20. How crazy this may sound, it’s on, can’t doubt god,” tweeted a fan.
Just imagine Shardul Thakur Man of the Series in #world t20
How crazy it may sound, it’s on, can’t doubt God.
— Nikhil (@CricCrazyNIKS) 4 October 2021
Another fan wrote, “This is the era of Lord Shardul Thakur…and we are living it…#CSKVDC.”
— Jai Prakash Sharma (@ms_dhoni_077) 4 October 2021
India can still make changes in the final squad for the T20 World Cup as per ICC rules till October 10.
India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakraborty, Jasprit Bumrah , Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Standby Player: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.