Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim believes Axar Patel’s exclusion from India’s T20 World Cup roster is “unfair.” Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, was required to be in the squad as a backup for Hardik Pandya, he explains. The BCCI made a single alteration to their 15-man roster on Wednesday: Thakur, who had previously been a standby player, has been promoted to the main team, replacing spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel. As a travelling reserve, Patel has been replaced by Thakur to accompany Deepak Chahar and Shreyas Iyer.

While there is nothing wrong with Patel – he has 15 wickets at an economy of 6.65 in the IPL 2021 – Saba Karim explains that the selectors were forced to add Thakur because they needed a backup for Hardik. Thakur has also been in good form with the ball – 18 wickets at an economy of 8.76 – and has shown his ability with the bat in Test cricket.

“There were questions about what the club would do if they had so many spinners in the lineup. “However, it’s still harsh for someone like Axar Patel to be dropped when he’s been in such fantastic form,” Saba Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast.

“The selectors brought up Shardul because they needed a backup for Hardik Pandya in case of injury. Thakur is deserving of it. Shardul might take Hardik’s place in the Indian team if he is unable to play owing to fitness difficulties.”

Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled a single ball for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021, which is a concern for the national team as it prepares for the T20 World Cup. With the bat, he hasn’t been at his best either.

Saba Karim, on the other hand, believes that if Pandya bowls as a sixth bowler in the World Cup, he will be a valuable asset to the team.

On October 24, India will face Pakistan in their first match in Dubai. In the Super 12 stage, they will face New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams who qualified from Round 1.