NL vs IND: Fast bowler Shardul Thakur has suffered a hamstring injury.© Shardul Thakur/Instagram
India’s fast bowler Shardul Thakur was banned from the second Test against England due to a hamstring injury, captain Virat Kohli confirmed at a press conference on the eve of the Test. Thakur, who had played as fourth seamer in the first Test at Trent Bridge, returned four wickets in the match, including that of England captain Joe Rootin the first innings. His returns of 2 for 41 and 2 for 37 in the Test had served him well for the role of the all-rounder on the team, following good returns with the bat earlier this year in Australia, even as India came in with just one specialist spinner in Ravindra Jadeja. However, Thakur’s unavailability could open the door for a quick bowling substitute in Umesh Yadav or Ishant Sharma, or a game for Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s leading spinner.
Kohli said India will not be short of batsman even if Thakur doesn’t play. “The good thing is that Jadeja already got points in the first test and he goes into the second game with the confidence that that already makes us deeper, the lower order contributed with bat a pit,” Kohli said at the press conference.
“Yes, Shardul brings more agility, but that said, from the batsmen’s point of view, we are well placed because Pujara, Jinx (Rahane) and myself didn’t score too much.
“Every game is an opportunity for other batters to stand up as well. Rohit and KL (Rahu) played very well and we are very comfortable with how we have been positioned as a batting unit, and we don’t feel like we have a batsman short.” if Shardul isn’t playing.”
Kohli stressed on finding a “perfect balance” in the XI with Thakur not available for selection.
“For us it’s about finding that perfect balance, but if someone like Shardul isn’t available then we definitely have to think about how to pick up 20 wickets and not try to plug in another man, give us some runs with the bat can give.” he said.
(with PTI inputs)
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