“Don’t get fooled by overall averages, always look…”: Srikanth Criticized Shardul Thakur’s World Cup 2023 Selection

Amid the ongoing Asia Cup campaign, captain Rohit Sharma and BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar unveiled India’s 15-member provisional World Cup squad in Kandy. As they presented the team, two words echoed repeatedly ‘balance’ and ‘depth.’ These two factors were the bedrock of their selection process for the upcoming home tournament.

Rohit Sharma stressed the importance of balance in the team, acknowledging the demands of modern-day cricket. He emphasized that even the lower-order batters, traditionally considered tailenders, can substantially impact today’s cricketing landscape. “We need to create that depth in batting and bowling. It was lacking in our team the last few years,” Rohit said.

Rohit Sharma highlighted the role of tailenders in strengthening the team’s depth. He referred to India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan, which was affected by rain. In that game, India fell short in the latter stages of their batting innings. Rohit emphasized that players from No. 8 to 11 must contribute with the bat to ensure the team maximizes its runs in every game.

Shardul Thakur’s name has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks. Known for his improved batting abilities, there were talks about whether he could fill the role of a pace-bowling all-rounder, especially during Hardik Pandya’s injury concerns. Shardul has also made a name for himself as a bowler who can “make things happen” on the field. His presence at No. 8 in the batting lineup aligns with Rohit’s vision of a squad with batting depth.

However, former BCCI chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth had a different perspective. During a discussion on Star Sports, he argued that Shardul Thakur has yet to prove his credentials as an all-rounder. Srikkanth questioned the need for a bowler with batting abilities at No. 8, suggesting that India could opt for a specialist spinner or pacer.

During the discussion, a passionate exchange occurred between Srikkanth and former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar. Srikkanth highlighted Shardul’s limited bowling contributions and pointed out that he had only bowled a full quota of 10 overs twice in 24 innings since January 2022.

Srikkanth: Is Shardul Thakur a complete batsman?

Bangar: In Test cricket, yes.

Srikkanth: I’m talking about ODI cricket. Is he an all-rounder?

Bangar: Yes he is.

Srikkanth: How is he an all-rounder? After T20 World Cup, he only big score was 25.

Bangar: His bowling is good.

Srikkanth: How is his bowling good? In his career, how many times has he bowled for full 10 overs?

Srikkanth emphasized the need to evaluate a player’s performance against strong teams like Australia and New Zealand rather than basing decisions solely on overall averages. He recalled the 2011 World Cup squad’s reserves, which included two spinners, one medium pacer, and a batter. His point was clear performances against top-tier teams should carry more weight.

“One minor injury, you will play IPL but not for India”: Kapil Dev’s Scathing Attack At Indian Star Player

“Everyone is saying we need a batter at No. 8…who needs a batter at No. 8? Shardul Thakur is only scoring 10 there and he doesn’t even bowl for 10 overs. In the match against Nepal, how many overs did he bowl? 4 only. See, don’t see performances against sides like West Indies or Zimbabwe. Yes if he performs well, then keep that in the back of your mind, but don’t give importance to that. Instead stress on performances against teams like Australia or New Zealand. That is why I say, don’t get fooled by overall averages, always look at individual matches,” he said.

The debate surrounding India’s World Cup squad revolves around the delicate balance between depth in batting and the role of bowlers with batting abilities. Rohit Sharma’s vision of a team with a strong tail, represented by players like Shardul Thakur, clashes with the selective performance-based perspective advocated by Srikkanth. As India’s campaign in the World Cup approaches, finding the right balance will be crucial to their success.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles