After Prithvi Shaw in the opening Test, Shardul Thakur earned the Test cap in the second Test against the West Indies. In so doing, Thakur becomes the 294th Test player in Indian cricket history and his first match in the whites comes after two years with the team but on the sidelines. Incidentally, Thakur’s maiden Test call-up came against West Indies when India were the touring party to the Caribbean.
Shardul, 26, plays for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and is just four days away from his birthday. He made his first class debut in 2012 against Rajasthan and has taken 188 wickets in 55 first-class matches at an average of 28.27. He has taken 12 fifers in his career. The Palghar born right arm medium bowler has already played five ODIs and 7 T20Is at a collective 14 wickets.
Thakur becomes the fifth player to make a debut for India in Tests this year and third straight player to debut after Hanuma Vihari in England and Shaw in Rajkot. He received the cap from coach Ravi Shastri.
With India naming an unchanged 12-man squad on the eve of the Test, Mohammad Shami is the bowler sitting out to allow Thakur to come in.
At the toss, West Indies-led by a recovered Jason Holder called the correct side of the coin and opted to bat in Hyderabad. Skipper Virat Kohli said, “Looks like a good pitch. Hyderabad mostly remains the same, hence we are not bothered of the toss but I would have batted first as well. We have to be in the present. We have to focus on this series, just focussing on repeating the things we did in the first game. The guys are looking forward to play another Test for the country, it’s a pride for all of us. Shami has been rested, he has played six Tests and has bowled a lot of overs. Hence, Shardul Thakur gets a game.”
West Indies made two changes to their side: Keemo Paul sitting out for Holder and spinner Jomel Warrican coming in for Sheman Lewis. Kemar Roach, who was widely believed to play a role, did not find a mention in the playing XI.
India Playing XI: KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur.
West Indies Playing XI: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder, Jomel Warrican, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel.