Shardul Thakur Replaces Axar Patel in India’s 2021 T20 World Cup Squad
Axar Patel will remain in the team's bio-bubble as a standy player.
Patel, however, does stay back in the UAE, as part of the standby list of players for the T20 World Cup.
Apart from the 15 members of the squad and three stand-by players, the BCCI has also asked Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham to join the team's bio-bubble to assist in the preparations for the big event.
India's opening fixture of the tournament is on 24 October against Pakistan.
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.
Currently playing for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021, Thakur 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.
India’s Squad for ICC T20 World Cup
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, Mohammad Shami
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel
Two Warm-Ups Before Opener
With most of the Team India players already in the bio-bubble for the World Cup, the preparations will officially get underway with two practise matches next week.
Virat Kohli's men will first take on England on 18 October in Dubai and then Australia on 20 October in Abu Dhabi.
A total of 16 warm-up matches are being played before the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.
The first set of warm-up fixtures began on Tuesday (12 Oct), featuring all the eight teams in Round 1 of the tournament. Each team will play two warm-up matches, with these fixtures being played over the course of the next two days, starting with the clash between Papua New Guinea and Ireland in Abu Dhabi.
The second set of warm-up fixtures will begin on October 18, and conclude on October 20, with the eight confirmed Super12 teams set to play two warm-up matches each.
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