Umran Malik or Shardul Thakur? Aakash Chopra Picked India’s Fourth Pacer For ICC World Cup 2023

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has thrown his weight behind Shardul Thakur as the potential fourth pacer in Team India’s squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. With Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj seemingly confirmed, the battle for the fourth pacer’s spot has narrowed down to Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik. Chopra’s endorsement comes after Shardul’s impressive performance during the recent ODI series against West Indies.

Shardul Thakur showcased his mettle in the ODI series against West Indies, emerging as the highest wicket-taker in the three-match contest. His impactful contributions included taking 3 and 4 wickets in the second and third ODIs. In contrast, Umran Malik struggled to make an impact, failing to claim any wickets in the series.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra expressed his inclination towards Shardul Thakur as India’s fourth pacer for the World Cup. He outlined that the Bumrah, Siraj, Shami, and Thakur quartet are favored. Chopra praised Thakur’s wicket-taking ability, acknowledging his knack for taking crucial scalps despite variations in his bowling lengths.

Chopra stated, “That is what it seems like as of now. He has picked up a lot of wickets. Bumrah, Siraj, Shami, and Shardul Thakur, I feel these four fast bowlers will be a part of India’s 15 in the World Cup.”

Aakash Chopra highlighted Shardul Thakur’s multifaceted contributions to the team. Besides his bowling prowess, Thakur’s batting skills and ability to contribute as a lower-order batter provide additional value to the team’s lineup. The former cricketer noted that Shardul’s versatility makes him a desirable option for the fourth pacer slot.

“Shardul gives you a little batting and is also a wicket-taker. He might bowl full, short, or wide, but whatever he bowls, he picks up wickets. We all bow down to Lord Thakur. There are extremely bright chances of Lord being in my team,” he added.

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Shardul Thakur’s ODI career has been notable, with 58 wickets in 38 matches at an average of 29 and an economy rate of 6.16. Additionally, his capability to contribute with the bat, as evidenced by his fifty in the 50-over format, enhances his all-round credentials.

The ICC World Cup 2023 is scheduled from October 5 to November 19, with India beginning their campaign against Australia on October 8. Ahead of the World Cup, India is set to participate in the Asia Cup, commencing on August 30. As the final squad selection approaches, the battle for the fourth pacer’s position between Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik remains a focal point of interest.

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