India fast bowler Shardul Thakur is likely to miss the second Test against England at Lord's due to a hamstring niggle, skipper Virat Kohli has confirmed. Thakur, who was India's fourth seamer in the Trent Bridge Test, bowled just 13 overs in the second innings but did not show any signs of discomfort during his spells. He finished with figures of 4 for 78 in the match.
"Shardul Thakur should be available for the third test, he is missing the second Test due to Hamstring injury," Kohli said in the press conference ahead of the Lord's Test.
However, Thakur is believed to have spent time at the gym along with India's physiotherapist and trainer Jack Webb on Monday (August 9).
India have a couple of options on the bench to pick from if Thakur is to miss the second Test. They have the option of picking an extra spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin or they can bring in Ishant Sharma, who himself missed the first Test due to a niggle. Other than Ishant, India also have the option of giving Umesh Yadav a go.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman has backed the inclusion of off-spinner Ashwin if Thakur misses out. “I would bring Ashwin in place of Shardul Thakur,” he said.,” Laxman told ESPNCricinfo.
“I’ve mentioned this before that he’s a more than capable bowler to perform in any condition. He’s a skilled bowler. He’s someone who has over 400 wickets. Anyone who has that many wickets knows how to adapt to different conditions. Ashwin will add variety and strength to the bowling line-up,” Laxman added.
Laxman also highlighted the fact that Ashwin's inclusion would also add to India's batting depth. “He can also contribute with the bat, we know that he’s got 5 Test hundreds. Ashwin will give Virat Kohli options irrespective of what type of conditions they play in,” Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests said.
After a drawn Test at Trent Bridge, the action quickly shifts to the second Test at Lord's, starting Thursday (August 12).