In the second Test against Windies at Hyderabad, India included pace bowler Shardul Thakur in the team. Doing so, Thakur became the 294th player to represent India in Tests. Although few praised this decision, a lot of fans and analysts asked why he was preferred over Mohammad Siraj who is in outstanding form in the domestic cricket.
Popular cricket analyst and commentator Harsha Bhogle explained the mindset of the team management for choosing the Mumbai pacer over Siraj through a tweet.
Bhogle in his tweet said, ‘It was appropriate that Shardul Thakur should have played ahead of Siraj, in spite of Siraj’s excellent form for India ‘A’, because Thakur had been picked earlier for the national team. Still in the dark about why this wasn’t the case with Karun Nair’.
Shardul Thukar has been a part of India’s Test squad for some time. He traveled with the Indian team to England but wasn’t included in any of the five Tests. The Mumbai pacer has also featured in India’s ODI and T20I teams in the past.
On the other hand, Mohammad Siraj is a relatively new entry in the Test team. Hence, Bhogle feels that Thakur was selected first as he was drafted earlier than Siraj in India’s squad.
In the same tweet, the cricket commentator has asked why this process wasn’t followed with Karun Nair. In the tour of England, Nair was part of the squad since the first Test but when the team actually played an extra batsman, the slot was offered to Hanuma Vihari who was roped in the team later as a cover for injured Virat Kohli.
This decision of the team management to overlook Nair irked a lot of former cricket players and it created a big debate. And now Harsha Bhogle has once again stirred this controversy.