Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur have been rested for the final ODI against Australia in Rajkot. The pair will now reunite with the team in Guwahati, where India will commence their journey in the ODI World Cup with a warm-up game against England.
While Shubman Gill has been in sublime form with the bat this year, Shardul Thakur has not quite looked at his best in the Australia series. However, he has been a constant part of the Indian team as the management don't want to compromise on their batting depth. It will be interesting to see the composition of the side for the third match.
Here we take a look at three reasons why India resting Shardul Thakur for third ODI vs Australia is the right move:
#3 Workload management
Shardul Thakur has been key to India’s World Cup plans. He has featured in 29 ODIs since the beginning of 2022 – one more than Mohammed Siraj. No other Indian bowler has been as regular in the line-up.
The management knows what Thakur brings to the table and hence, they are now keen to rest him and manage his workload. He will play a big role in the World Cup and hence, he deserves this rest after not being as impressive in the first couple of matches.
#2 India can use Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar was flown to Colombo for the final of the Asia Cup as a replacement for Axar Patel. However, India dismantled the hosts for just 50 runs and thus Sundar was not needed with the bat and ball.
In the ongoing series against Australia, R Ashwin has got the nod ahead of Sundar and the veteran off-spinner has shown his worth. With Thakur rested and the return of Hardik Pandya, India can now use Washington Sundar and R Ashwin in the same match.
There is enough potential in Sundar and with the management being very keen to elongate their batting as much as possible, this could be the match that decides who the third spinner in the World Cup squad will be should Axar fails to gain fitness.
#1 Playing all the best fast bowlers
This can be the match where India play all their best fast bowlers ahead of the World Cup. Mohammed Shami has been in fine form, Mohammed Siraj will play the first match after that memorable spell in the Asia Cup final, while Jasprit Bumrah will be keen to continue his good form on his comeback.
With Shardul Thakur rested, India can play all three seamers and use Washington, Hardik, and Ashwin as the three all-rounders in the side. This will give them much-needed clarity on what the playing XI should be when India take on Australia in their first match of the World Cup in Chennai next month.