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"If you ask Shardul, he will be the No. 1" - Irfan Pathan on Shardul Thakur's place as seamer in India's World Cup squad

Shardul Thakur bowled a game-changing spell in the third ODI against New Zealand. [P/C: BCCI]
Shardul Thakur bowled a game-changing spell in the third ODI against New Zealand. (P/C: BCCI)

Irfan Pathan feels Shardul Thakur will be in India's scheme of things as one of the seamers for the World Cup to be played later this year.

Shardul registered figures of 3-45 in six overs as the Men in Blue bowled out New Zealand for 295 to register a 90-run win in the third and final ODI in Indore on Tuesday (January 24). The hosts had earlier posted a mammoth total of 385-9 on the back of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill's 212-run opening-wicket partnership.

During an interaction on the Star Sports show 'Match Point', Pathan was asked about his thoughts on the fast bowlers who would make it to India's World Cup squad considering Shardul Thakur's performance in the final ODI, to which he responded:

"If you ask Shardul, he will be the No. 1. He bowled really well. He is a trier; he keeps trying. When you see him, you will always feel that he doesn't have that kind of swing, he doesn't have that kind of pace which is 140-plus consistently, but he will always be in your face. and he wants to keep taking wickets."

The former Indian all-rounder reckons the think tank will have a large pool of fast bowlers to choose from, observing:

"You want guys like him in the team as well. With him, especially when you are talking about the World Cup, you need at least six-seven options in your hand as far as the team combination is concerned."

Pathan feels Shardul's ability to contribute with the bat will keep him in the mix, elaborating:

"If you ask me that particular question about Shardul Thakur, because of that batting ability at No. 8, he should certainly be there in that group of players who are going to be keeping their hands up and saying that they should be there in the World Cup as well."
Planning behind Tom Latham's wicket πŸ€”Discussions with captain @ImRo45, vice-captain @hardikpandya7 & @imVkohli πŸ‘ŒAn ODI series clean sweep πŸ‘@imShard - Player of the Match from the 3⃣rd #INDvNZ ODI - sums up #TeamIndia's win in Indore πŸ‘ πŸ‘@mastercardindia https://t.co/aksvwWPRj6

Apart from the three-wicket haul in the final ODI against New Zealand, Shardul also scored a handy 17-ball 25 during India's innings. He strung together a 54-run seventh-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya after India had lost a few quick wickets.


"I am not as certain about Shardul Thakur" - Sanjay Manjrekar

Shardul Thakur picked up six wickets in the three ODIs against New Zealand. [P/C: BCCI]
Shardul Thakur picked up six wickets in the three ODIs against New Zealand. [P/C: BCCI]

Sanjay Manjrekar, though, is unsure if Shardul can make it to India's World Cup squad, reasoning:

"I am not as certain about Shardul Thakur. There is a lot of time between now and the World Cup, and there are a few other contenders. There is Hardik Pandya also, who has a similar kind of role - batting and bowling. So, I agree Shardul Thakur will be in the plans, but I don't know whether he will make it in the squad finally."
Shardul Thakur has an enviable ability to be in the game at all times. Has to come from self-belief.

Shardul and Hardik are unlikely to compete for the same slot in India's World Cup squad. While the former has bowling as his stronger suit, Pandya is a batting all-rounder who can play in the top six.

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