“He’s definitely in our plans” – Virat Kohli hints at Shardul Thakur’s inclusion for India’s clash against New Zealand

Shardul Thakur had an impressive IPL 2021 season with Chennai Super Kings – scalping 21 wickets.

Abhinav Goel Author

Updated - 31 October 2021 11:10 pm

Team India skipper Virat Kohli opened up on the need for a sixth bowling option ahead of the clash against New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. Both India and New Zealand will be under high pressure as this game is being considered a virtual quarterfinal. Pakistan have almost secured their spot for T20 WC 2021 semis. Thus, winner of this contest is expected to join Pakistan in the semis from Group 2. Both teams started their T20 WC campaign by losing their first game to Pakistan.

Virat Kohli was asked about Shardul at the pre-match press conference on Saturday. Kohli answered, “He’s (Shardul) definitely a guy who’s in our plans, constantly making a case of for himself. He is definitely someone who can bring a lot of value to the team.”

“What role he plays or where he fits in, that’s something that I cannot obviously talk about right now. But yes, Shardul is someone who’s got great potential and he will add great value to the team,” he added.

Shardul Thakur had an impressive IPL 2021 season with Chennai Super Kings – scalping 21 wickets at an economy of 8.81.

It’s very important to have a sixth bowling option: Kohli

Kohli acknowledged the need for a "sixth bowling option" and said that it's important for the team to have the option of a sixth bowler at its disposal. The skipper commented that either he or Hardik Pandya will be playing that role for the team in the near future.

“It’s very important to have a sixth bowling option — whether through me or Hardik (Pandya). He should have to be fit to be able to bowl one or two overs,” he said.

“Game situation dictates when to use your sixth bowling option. In our last match, if they (Pakistan) batted first, I could also have bowled one or two overs. But in the second innings when we needed wickets, we just had to bowl our primary bowlers,” Kohli added.

Pandya had suffered a blow on his right shoulder while batting against Pakistan. It was revealed later that he had been taken for scans. Kohli also stated that Hardik Pandya is not yet fully fit to bowl, even though he has started bowling at the nets.