Former member of the selection committee, Sarandeep Singh has opined that he would pick Shardul Thakur over Mohammed Siraj as the fourth pacer if the conditions in Southampton permit. He also added that in case India picks four pacers, it should come at the cost of Jadeja and not Ashwin.
India face one of their toughest Test, in under a week against the strong New Zealand line-up in Southampton. While India have had their fair shares of struggles in England, their win over Australia would certainly keep them in the high spirits, going into the World Test Championship final. However, the Men in Blue would have to make a tough decision, in terms of their bowling attack for the final.
While the pacers have showcased their worth both home and away, Ravichandran Ashwin’s remarkable turnaround has made him a favourite to start the final. It saw a former member of the selection committee, Sarandeep Singh has his say over the matter and he opined that the management should pick Shardul Thakur over Mohammed Siraj as the fourth pacer if the conditions are overcast.
“My pick would be Shardul though Siraj has also done very well. You will need batting options in the lower order and Shardul gives you that. The ball will do a bit at Southampton and Shardul is good at swinging the ball. He has years of experience in domestic cricket and has a very sharp cricketing mind,” he added.
In the case of India playing four pacers, it would be a toss-up between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, both of whom have been pillars of strength for the country. Sarandeep stated that in the case of four pacers playing, he would want the management to keep Jadeja on the bench, given Ashwin's ability and record against left-handed batsmen.
"If a fourth pacer is picked, then Jadeja, unfortunately, will have to sit out. Ashwin should play as there are quite a few left-handers in the New Zealand side," Sarandeep said.