Pacer Shardul Thakur has replaced Axar Patel in India's 15-player squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, the BCCI confirmed on Wednesday. Patel, who was initially part of the squad has now been named as a stand-by player for the showpiece event in the UAE and Oman alongside Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar.
The selection panel has been mulling inclusion of an extra pacer to the squad as all-rounder Hardik Pandya is unlikely to bowl during the tournament after underdoing lower-back surgery earlier this year. India already have four spin options in Ravindra Jadeja, Ravinchandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar.
Thakur has emerged a dependable all-round option across three formats recently and has been in superb form in the ongoing IPL 2021. The Chennai Super Kings pacer has claimed 18 wickets from 15 games at economy of 8.75.
BCCI also said that the likes of Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham will join the India's bio-bubble in Dubai to assist the team preparations.
India’s 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
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel