India new boy Thakur relishing Windies chance

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Mumbai: Uncapped Shardul Thakur has vowed to do his “homework” on the West Indies after the right-arm pace bowler earned his first India call-up for the Test tour of the Caribbean.

The 24-year-old, who has starred for Mumbai in domestic cricket, is the only new face included in India’s 17-member squad that will play four Tests in July and August.

“Obviously I will speak to the senior players to get an idea about what to expect in the Caribbean,” Thakur told the Press Trust of India news agency following the squad announcement on Monday.

“I will definitely do my homework before leaving for the tour,” he added.

Thakur has been in scintillating form for Mumbai in India’s domestic first-class championship, the Ranji Trophy, taking 89 wickets over the past two seasons.

“It is good to see Shardul Thakur being rewarded for bowling his heart out for Mumbai,” Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar told NDTV.

Only two changes have been made to the India Test squad that faced South Africa at the end of last year for the tour.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami returns to international cricket for the first time since 2015 after overcoming injury. Right-arm pacer Varun Aaron and all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann drop out.

Ace batsman Virat Kohli will captain India, with Ajinkya Rahane acting as his deputy. The dates of the Tests are yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile, limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead a weakened side to Zimbabwe for three one-day international and three Twenty20 matches in June.

Uncapped batsman Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh were included in the 16-member ODI squad while experienced players such as Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina were rested.

India Test squad for West Indies tour: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny.

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