The fast bowler is set to play his team’s next Ranji Trophy Game and will make a comeback after more than 2 months
The clock is ticking fast until the ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway at The Oval on May 30. With Team India’s eyes on the title, the team management and the selectors would want to have a pool of as much as fit players who are performing on a consistent basis in the domestic and international circuits. After the 2015 World Cup, as much as nineteen cricketers have made their ODI debuts for India. Eight of them are fast bowlers. This statistic tells the urge of a consistent bowling attack for the World Cup.
India has sticked with the duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah with Hardik Pandya filling in as the third seamer’s role. In the recent times, Rajasthan’s left-arm fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed has got plenty of opportunities after he made his debut against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup. Few others who were tried were Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar and Mumbai quick Shardul Thakur. Thakur made his one-day international debut in August 2017 in the away series against Sri Lanka.
Impressed with his domestic performances and consistency in the limited opportunities given to him in the international circuit, Thakur was handed a Test debut against the touring Windies at Hyderabad on October 12, 2018. India won that game by 10 wickets but it was a game to forget for Thakur as he hobbled off the field after bowling only 10 deliveries on day 1 due to a groin injury.
After he was put for a rehab of seven weeks, Shardul is fit and raring to go as he returns to the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team in a must win game against Vidarbha. The match is scheduled to play from December 29 to January 2. After the injury, Thakur was hopeful of an ODI return with the series against Australia but wasn’t selected in the squad as the selectors favored Mohammed Shami ahead of him.
Along with Thakur, fast bowler Tushar Deshpande has also made a comeback in the team led by middle order batsman Siddhesh Lad. The 41-time Ranji champions are currently placed at the 14th position in combined Groups A and B and it is important for them to win the game outright for a quarter-final berth.
Current champions Vidarbha are looking in good touch this season with all-round performances. Captain Faiz Fazal along with seasoned campaigner Wasim Jaffer are leading the batting department whereas the bowling department comprises of consistent performers like Aditya Sarwate, Akshay Wakhare, Lalit Yadav and Rajneesh Gurbani.
Mumbai Ranji Team v Vidarbha: Siddhesh Lad (c), Shreyas Iyer, Aditya Tare, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Jay Bista, Vikrant Auti, Shubham Ranjane, Eknath Kerkar, Karsh Kothari, Dhrumil Matkar, Tanush Kotian, Minad Manjrekar, Tushar Deshpande, Royston Dias