As Team India are ready to take on New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton, former selector Sarandeep Singh says they should look at Shardul Thakur over Mohammad Siraj as the fourth fast bowling option for the overcast conditions.
Sarandeep, whose term has ended with the Australia tour earlier this year, has chosen Shardul over Siraj because of his batting ability which he has already shown Down Under. However, India are likely to play with three pacers and two spinners – R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the final starting June 18.
“If conditions are overcast, then you can play an extra fast bowler after Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. My pick would be Shardul though Siraj has also done very well,” Sarandeep Singh told PTI.
“You will need batting options in the lower order and Shardul gives you that. The ball will do a bit at Southampton and Shardul is good at swinging the ball. He has years of experience in domestic cricket and has a very sharp cricketing mind. If a fourth pacer is picked, then Jadeja unfortunately will have to sit out. Ashwin should play as there are quite a few left-handers in the New Zealand side,” he further added.
However, he again shared that the batting unit is quite good but he added that it will be an important for young opener Shubman Gill to perform well. He has been in a poor form in recent times and failed to replicate his success in Australia as well as against England at home.
“Shubman is a class act. I am confident he will do well and most probably start with the WTC final with Rohit. He did not have the best of times against England at home, I hope he finds a way to bounce back in their own backyard. There is tremendous competition for the opening slot with Mayank sitting out despite doing well in his short Test career so far. Then you have got the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal waiting in the queue,” again shared Sarandeep Singh.