With each passing day, the high-octane T20 World Cup 2021 draws closer, and all of the teams will be eager to compete. Team India is considered one of the favourites for the competition, which will be held in the spin-friendly UAE and Oman. Despite their recent success in this format, the Men in Blue have several challenges to address ahead of the competition.

Many fear that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will harm the team’s balance. Shardul Thakur, who will travel as a reserve, has been tipped as Pandya’s replacement by a number of fans and analysts. The right-arm pacer has performed admirably in the IPL’s UAE leg, and his batting prowess caused England’s bowlers to face challenges during the August-September Test series.

Shardul, according to former England captain Michael Vaughan, might be a valuable asset in the world event. He even suggested that Shardul’s participation could be backed up by Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni. Shardul’s superb performance against Delhi Capitals, albeit in a losing cause, prompted Vaughan’s statement. In his four overs, the pacer took two wickets and only gave up 13 runs.

As a result, Vaughan believes Dhoni, who has been chosen the team’s mentor, will approach Indian captain Virat Kohli to convince Thakur to join the team. Vaughan said, “The guru of the Indian T20 team (MS Dhoni) is behind the stumps, he’s the captain of CSK, and you probably assume he’s going to tell Virat and Shastri, you know come on.”

Shardul’s all-round qualities have been compared to Ian Botham’s, with Vaughan claiming that the CSK cricketer can “make things happen.”