Injury to all-rounder leaves India with selection headache ahead of Lord’s Test

Shardul Thakur has reportedly sustained a hamstring injury ahead of the second Test against England, and according to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, the Indian team management has decided to replace him for the Lord’s Test, which begins on Thursday. The paceman looked in visible discomfort during England’s second innings, although he finished the series opener with four wickets, including the prized scalp of Joe Root in the first essay. Thakur’s incisive operation not only stemmed the run flow but also kept the frontline quicks fresh.

As per the aforementioned report, Thakur arrived for training on Monday at Lord’s and spent time in the gym alongside the India physiotherapist Nitin Patel and trainer Nick Webb. Though India had shocked the cricketing fraternity by leaving out their premier off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, in the first Test, it proved to be a calculated risk as both Ravindra Jadeja and Thakur chipped in with valuable contributions. Enhanced batting credentials had played a huge role in Thakur cracking the nod at the expense of R Ashwin.

In the post-match presser, India captain Virat Kohli said he was quite satisfied with the template India had resorted to, that of sporting four fast bowlers and one spin-bowling allrounder in Jadeja. Now the question arises whether India will rope in their senior offie or a fourth seamer in Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav. However, the learnings from their recent experiences in the World Test Championship finale and the first Test point towards the fact that fielding a four-pronged pace battery and a lone spinner is a combination that bodes well with typical English conditions.