Thakur replaces Kumar in India squad for final NZ test

NEW DELHI: Paceman Shardul Thakur could make his debut for India after he was called up as a replacement for seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the final match of the three-test series against New Zealand, the country's board (BCCI) said on Thursday.

Kumar, who suffered a back strain during the second test, played a pivotal role in last week's 178-run win in Kolkata, taking six wickets in the match as India opened an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

The 24-year-old Thakur earned his first call-up to the India squad for the tour of the West Indies earlier this year but would be earning his first international cap if he starts in Indore on Saturday.

India will also be without Shikhar Dhawan after the opening batsman sustained a "very minor fracture" on his left thumb.