Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels that Shardul Thakur cannot replace Hardik Pandya in India’s playing XI for the high octane clash against Pakistan,
as the CSK pacer has done enough with the bat in the shortest format of the game.
Just days prior the T20 World Cup began, Shardul Thakur, a reserve, was promoted to the final 15, while Axar Patel was downgraded to a reserve.
The reason being that, Thakur was the highest wicket-taker for CSK in the IPL 2021 season,
with 21 scalps, and has been exceptional for India with both bat and ball in the past year.
Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel,
“Shardul Thakur cannot play in place of Hardik Pandya. Where has he [Shardul] scored runs in T20s? For whom?
He has not played an innings like that for CSK as well and let’s be honest, we don’t have an all-rounder”.
“Shardul cannot bat at No.6 and No.7 is also too high for him if you keep Jaddu at No.6.
We have only seen his run-scoring form in Test cricket. So Hardik is certain to play.”
“It is not about form over reputation, it is just about what you have. So the expectation is, fingers crossed, that Hardik Pandya’s bat fires and makes a lot of noise,
but you don’t have an option.”
However, Aakash Chopra believes that Shardul Thakur must play against Pakistan but at the cost of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
He further said,
“I want to play Shardul but instead of Bhuvi. That’s the competition that they are having, it is actually not a competition between Shardul and Hardik at all.
The balance will be off if you drop Hardik and send everyone a slot up the order.
You will get a sixth bowling option but the batting will shrink suddenly.