The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday named Shardul Thakur as the replacement for Axar Patel in India's 15-man main squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. (More Cricket News)
Confirming the change in the personnel, the BCCI said in a statement: "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."
The move is understandable considering the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Hardik Pandya, whose fitness issues remain a major concern for India. Thakur, who has played 22 T2Is for India, has also shown the ability to win matches with the bat too.
Both the players are currently in the UAE, representing their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams. Thakur, a right-arm pacer, will be seen in Friday's final with Chennai Super Kings waiting for the winners of Qualifier 2 between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Patel took the field in Delhi's Qualifier 1 defeat to CSK on October 10. He now joined Delhi Capitals team-mate Shreyas Patel and CSK's Deepak Chahar in the stand-bys.
Earlier, it was also widely reported that the selectors have also included Harshal Patel among the net bowlers for the Indian team.
"The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.' the statement added.
India, the inaugural champions of the T20 World Cup in 2007, open their campaign with a mouth-watering Group 1 fixture against arch-rivals Pakistan in Super 12 on October 24 in Dubai.
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