‘Don’t get fooled by averages’ – Kris Srikkanth lambasts BCCI’s decision to include Shardul Thakur in 2023 World Cup squad

'Don't get fooled by averages' - Kris Srikkanth lambasts BCCI's decision to include Shardul Thakur in 2023 World Cup squad
Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Krishnamachari Srikkanth. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

After the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s 15-member squad for next month’s ODI World Cup, fans and experts have been giving their assessment regarding the players selected and the ones left out.

Shardul Thakur has been named in the side, and he is expected to assist Hardik Pandya in the role of a fast-bowling all-rounder. However, 1983 World Cup winner Kris Srikkanth has lashed out at BCCI selectors for picking the Mumbai cricketer, pointing out that he rarely bowls his full quota of overs or scores adequate runs with the bat. Instead, the 63-year-old felt that India should have gone in with a specialist bowler.

“Everyone is saying we need a batter at No. 8…who needs a batter at No. 8? Shardul Thakur is only scoring 10 there and he doesn’t even bowl for ten overs. In the match against Nepal, how many overs did he bowl? 4 only. See, don’t see performances against sides like West Indies or Zimbabwe. Yes if he performs well, then keep that in the back of your mind, but don’t give importance to that. Instead stress on performances against teams like Australia or New Zealand. That is why I say, don’t get fooled by overall averages, always look at individual matches,” the former BCCI chief selector said on Star Sports.

Srikkanth gave the example of reserve players in the World Cup-winning Indian side in 2011 to justify his point.

“Look at the 2011 World Cup squad. Shall I say who were the reserves? There were two spinners – R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla and one medium pacer in Munaf Patel, along with one batter in Yusuf Pathan,” Srikkanth said.

Shardul has picked up 15 wickets in nine ODI games in 2023. However, with the bat, he has scored just 48 runs in five innings at an average of 9.60 and a strike rate of 97.95.

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