The Crucial Test for Shardul Thakur: The Conundrum of the upcoming South Africa Series

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Shardul Thakur faces a do or die series in the upcoming India’s tour to South Africa with his future with the side at stake

After an exhausting couple of months of white-ball cricket, the focus will finally shift to Tests as India’s squad for the South Africa series is all set to be announced. There’s a lot of debate over what could be India’s best possible combination for the series against South Africa, with particular focus on Shardul Thakur.

India will be eyeing their maiden series victory on South African soil as they take on the Proteas in the three-match Test series. And now we address one of the selectors’ conundrum – the Shardul Thakur problem.

The Shardul Thakur conundrum

Thakur has made a name for himself in the red-ball format with decent performances in the 10 games he has played. With 779 runs and 30 wickets under his belt, Shardul has played a crucial role as an all-rounder along with Ravindra Jadeja. He last played a Test for India against the West Indies in July 2023.

It’s safe to say that this would be the do or die series for Shardul Thakur, who will have to prove his worth in order to cement his spot for Team India. With Hardik Pandya out of the picture and Jadeja already an integral part of the playing XI, Thakur is left with barely one series after which there will be very little Test cricket for India. It is imperative for Shardul to give it his all, with both bat and ball, in order to secure his future with the national team.

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Unadkat danger for Thakur

A strong competition that Thakur can potentially face can appear in the form of Jaydev Unadkat. Unadkat can safely be assumed as a back-up bowling all-rounder for India, putting Shardul’s place in jeopordy. Unadkat has 26 scalps from 22 international games to his name.

Thakur, on the other hand, has been brilliant in South Africa for India. The all-rounder picked up a sensational 7-61 in Johanesburg, scripting history by becoming the bowler to pick the higest number of wickets in an innings against South Africa.

Meanwhile, Thakur will play two Vijay Hazare trophy games for Mumbai against Saurashtra and Tripura. He had been rested along with other senior cricketers after India’s World Cup campaign concluded. While it is understood that Thakur will be a part of India’s tour to South Africa, it remains to be seen if he will be a part of the senior team or the India A team.

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