Former batting coach of the Indian side Sanjay Bangar believes that there is ‘definitely’ an avenue for Shardul Thakur to be a part of the playing XI in the Tests against South Africa, and is of the opinion that India would benefit from fielding a seam bowler who can make invaluable contributions with the bat.
Shardul featured in two Tests in England and impressed with both bat and ball, taking 7 wickets at an average of 22.00 while scoring two fifties and averaging 39.00 with the bat. It was, in fact, the all-rounder’s twin fifties that helped India stage a remarkable comeback in The Oval Test.
Bangar threw his weight behind Shardul, who of late has come into his own as an international cricketer.
"There is definitely a place for Shardul Thakur because in all the major victories in the last season that have come for India, he has contributed and in overseas conditions, you require a batsman who can bowl a bit,” Bangar said on Star Sports.
"He fits in that category because he can contribute with the bat and with the ball, he can contribute with a couple of wickets, as he displayed in the England series as well.”
India benched Ravichandran Ashwin in the entirety of the England tour, opting for Ravindra Jadeja as the sole spinner, but with Jadeja out with injury, it remains to be seen what combination team India opt for in South Africa.
According to Bangar, who has worked with the Indian skipper in the RCB franchise, Kohli is ‘resigned’ to the fact that he wants to field at least four seamers in overseas conditions.
"I would think the reasoning behind and the way the captain wants to have a say because ultimately it’s the captain’s team. Yes, Rahul Dravid can throw up some contrasting views because that is what a coach’s job is, probably put up his case and then see what the captain thinks.
“But prior to the Oval Test match, you already saw what Virat Kohli’s thought process suggests and from a distance, it seems that he is resigned to the fact that he wants to play with four seamers and one spinner in overseas conditions.”