Reports: Shardul Thakur added to India A squad for South Africa tour; Suryakumar Yadav included for New Zealand Tests

Reports: Shardul Thakur added to India A squad for South Africa tour; Suryakumar Yadav included for New Zealand Tests

Yadav, who was initially only named for New Zealand T20Is, has been asked to stay with the Test team for the two-match series starting November 25 in Kanpur.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

India have added all-rounder Shardul Thakur to the India A squad, set to travel to South Africa before the team’s all-format tour, while batter Suryakumar Yadav is learned to have been added to the squad for two Tests against New Zealand, starting in Kanpur from November 25.

Yadav, who has been asked to stay with the Test team, was initially only a part of the three-match T20I series, which India won 3-0, while Thakur was rested for both T20I and Test series following the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

An Indian Express report claims Thakur will only be playing the third India A-South Africa A fixture in Bloemfontein, as the new head coach Rahul Dravid “wants every player to be match ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.”

Thakur was with the Indian Test team during the five-Test away series against England earlier this year, followed by the second leg of the IPL and T20 World Cup, both in the UAE.

However, given he was rested against New Zealand means he would not have played any competitive cricket for a long time by the time the South Africa assignment starts, where India will play three Tests, as many ODIs and four T20Is in December-January.

After his crucial contributions against Australia during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 followed by England series, Bharat Arun highlighted his importance in the team. “Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them,” Arun told the Indian Express.

“Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no? And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 km/h and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” the former bowling coach added.

The BCCI is likely to announce the squad for South Africa series following the first Test against New Zealand. Meanwhile, any particular reason behind Yadav’s addition to the Test squad has not been named.