The current Indian cricket team is filled with match-winners from top to bottom. In fact, so strong is their bench strength that the current Indian team is capable of defeating top teams with a second-string Playing XI as well. Even the squad of 15 that India have picked for the T20 World Cup is without two of their experienced players in Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal. That's how strong and fearless India's young cricketers are.
Despite the squad of 15, the BCCI had also announced three reserve players. However, days ahead of the start of the T20 World Cup, Shardul Thakur, one of the reserves was added into the final 15 with Axar Patel being demoted to a reserve player. And one can sense the reason why. Thakur was the leading wicket-taker for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021 with 21 scalps and has been phenomenal with both bat and ball for India over the last year.
Impressed with what Thakur brings to the table, former England captain Michael Vaughan dished out a colossal praise for the India all-rounder, claiming that the 30-year-old reminds him of the legendary Ian Botham. Crediting Thakur for making things happen, Vaughan feels it could have been MS Dhoni's idea to get Thakur added to the final 15.
"Last week I was with Lord Botham and he is a true lord. Thakur is very similar to Ian Botham. He gets the ball in his hands and makes things happen. He did it in the Test series, he did it in the IPL. The mentor of the Indian T20 team is behind the stumps. He was captaining him. He was probably on the phone with Virat and Ravi talking about him, saying 'come on'. He (Shardul) has that ability to make things happen," Vaughan said on Cricbuzz.
Vaughan dwelled into the technicalities, explaining how one of Thakur's strengths is to be able to deceive and fox the batsmen with his variations, a trait that spinner R Ashwin marvels at. And this is what the former skipper reckons makes Thakur not an easy bowler to get away with.
"He must have a very good deception of pace because you watch him and it's like 'yeah, it's pretty normal. But he has that deception like Ashwin. He bowls and it goes through quickly, bowls cross-seam and goes through quickly. He has that ability to surprise the batter and those subtle variations that we can't pick up," added Vaughan.