IND vs AUS, 2nd ODI: Ex-Cricketer Urges India To Replace Shardul Thakur With 'This' Player
Shardul Thakur in action [Source: Twitter]
After recording a clinical five-wicket win in Mumbai, hosts India will look to clinch the series when they face Australia in the second fixture in Visakhapatnam today.
While the hosts gear up for this high-voltage clash, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has urged the Indian think tank to replace Shardul Thakur with promising seamer Umran Malik in this game.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra reckoned that he believes in fielding five proper bowling options, without caring for the extra batting cushion, which Thakur provides at number eight.
However, he also acknowledged that this move is highly unlikely, considering the vulnerability of the Indian batting lineup against quality attacks.
Here's what Chopra said
"You might call it right or wrong - I always want you to play five full bowlers where you shouldn't worry about the batting at No. 8. Play Umran Malik in place of Shardul Thakur. That's what I feel but the Indian team wants a batter at No. 8 for sure, and I can understand their thinking that sometimes the top-order players get out and you might need batting later."
Speaking of the first ODI, Indian bowlers enjoyed stellar success on Mumbai's seam-friendly deck, as Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj scalped three wickets each to restrict Australia to a sub-par total.
Interestingly, stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya used only two overs of Shardul Thakur, despite the pitch offering significant assistance to the pacers.
Furthermore, as the surface in Visakhapatnam traditionally helps spinners, India might consider replacing Thakur with either Washington Sundar or Yuzvendra Chahal, if not Umran Malik.
However, with rain predicted, the chance of getting a full 100-over game seems bleak at the moment.