Shardul Thakur replaces Axar Patel in India’s T20 World Cup squad

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced that right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur and left-arm spin all-rounder Axar Patel will swap places in India’s squad for the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.

It means that Thakur moves into Patel’s place in the main squad while Patel takes Thakur’s place in the stand-by players’ list.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management has added Shardul Thakur to the main squad. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of stand-by players,” said a release from the BCCI.

This is the only change made by the Indian team till now after announcing the 15-member squad and stand-by players on September 8.

Thakur was last seen in T20Is against England in Ahmedabad in March this year. But this year has seen his emergence as a seam all-round option for India, especially in Test cricket.

Thakur was one of the main architects in India’s 157-run win in the fourth Test against England at The Oval in September with half-centuries (57 and 60) in both innings apart from picking three wickets.

Thakur, currently playing for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021, has been a key factor in his franchise reaching the final scheduled for Friday in Dubai.

Till now, Thakur has been the highest-wicket taker for Chennai in the tournament, taking 18 wickets from 15 matches at an economy rate of 8.75.

In the UAE leg of IPL 2021, Thakur has scalped 13 wickets in eight matches for Chennai.

The BCCI also announced that Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham will join the Indian team bubble in Dubai and assist the side in their preparation ahead of the men’s T20 World Cup.

The men’s T20 World Cup will take place in Oman and the UAE from October 17 to November 14.

India will start its Super 12 campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. India are in Group 2 alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two teams joining from Round 1.

India’s squad: 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 and Mohammad Shami.

Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel.

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