It remains to be seen who replaces Thakur in India’s playing XI.
The second Test between England and India is set to commence from Thursday at Lord’s. But both the teams grappled with injury concerns ahead of the crucial game. For England, Stuart Broad is set to miss the game while James Anderson is doubtful and now for India, Shardul Thakur has been ruled out of the second Test. Skipper Virat Kohli confirmed the news in the pre-match press conference.
Thakur was the fourth pacer for India in the first Test. Most importantly, he provided the much-needed balance to the team thanks to his batting skills at number eight. Though he bagged a duck with the bat, Thakur impressed with the ball picking a total of four wickets combined in both the innings. Even Kohli had praised him before the opening Test match terming him as a huge prospect for India going forward.
Coming back to his injury, Shardul Thakur didn’t seem to be completely fit during the second innings in Nottingham itself. The commentators pointed it out as he wasn’t bowling in his full tilt and even then, managed to send down 13 overs conceding 37 runs.
Meanwhile, Kohli was also confident that the Mumbai pacer will be fit for the third Test match. “Shardul should be okay for the third Test. He has a strain on his left hamstring. Everyone else is fine,” the 32-year-old said while speaking to the reporters.
Who can replace Shardul Thakur?
Shardul Thakur lent India the balance in the opening Test match when they needed four seamers. But with him getting ruled out now, it remains to be seen who replaces him in the playing XI. There is hope that sun will shine at Lord’s on all five days of the Test and this will certainly break up the pitch at some point. In that case, Ravi Ashwin, India’s premier spinner, might get a look in.
There is also a chance for Ishant Sharma to play if the visitors decide to go in with four pacers but then, their tail will be long from 8-11. Having said that, India’s last three batsmen added 73 runs in the first innings of Nottingham Test and given their ability to surprise always, Ishant or any other pacer playing can’t be ruled out at the moment.