Rookie Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur was the lone new face in India’s Test squad for the tour of West Indies announced on Monday.
The 24-year-old right-arm medium pacer was a surprise pick in the 17-member squad with the selectors reposing their faith in the line-up that had played the last Test series against South Africa at home.
Thakur broke into the Mumbai squad in 2012 and has taken 133 wickets in 37 games. The fast bowler packs aggression with an ability to hit the deck hard. Though in his first year, he failed to impress but came back stronger and leaner in the following season.
In 2014-15, Thakur finished as the joint highest wicket-taker, alongside R Vinay Kumar, with 48 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 20.81. He followed that up with 41 wickets in the 2015-16 season, the highest for Mumbai, to help the side clinch its 41st Ranji Trophy title.
Thakur’s stellar domestic season earned him a call up into India A squad against Australia A and South Africa A. Thakur not only showed that he could bowl fast but also impressed one and many after he returned with a four-wicket haul against the touring Proteas picking Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla.
Kings XI Punjab picked Thakur in the IPL auction this year but surprisingly, Thakur spent the entire IPL on the bench.