The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, slated to take place in Australia in October-November. For the first time, Rohit Sharma will be leading the team in an ICC tournament, while KL Rahul will be his deputy. Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah made a comeback and Harshal Patel also joined him after both the players missed some recent matches due to their respective injuries. Meanwhile, what has been a matter of debate is the fact that Mohammad Shami failed to make it to the team and has rather been included as a standby player.
Former India cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth opines that Shami should have been included in the team. The cricket veteran added that the Uttar Pradesh-born pacer should have entered the squad in place of Harshal Patel.
“If I was the chairman of the selection committee, (Mohammad) Shami is definitely in the team. We are playing in Australia, the guy’s got the real action, the guy’s got bounce, he can bare the moment and he can get on early wickets, so I would have probably got Shami instead of Harshal Patel,” said Srikkanth on Star Sports.
“Yes, Harshal Patel is a good bowler, no doubt about it, but Mohammad Shami is the right guy, I mean they can say not the scheme of things, he’s only for test cricket or one day cricket but we are playing in Australia. That guy has done well last IPL, so Shami is the must in my team.”
Shami, who played for newbies Gujarat Titans, featured in 16 matches in Indian Premier League 2022 and picked 20 wickets. His bowling economy in the season was 8.00 and strike rate was 18.30. The right-arm pacer played a crucial role in Gujarat Titans’ title victory.
“Mohammad Shami is a frontline bowler. You check his IPL record from last year. Fantastic! He has got early wickets. Who will give (early wickets)?” questioned Srikkanth.
Besides Bumrah and Harshal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep are the two other full-time pacers in the Indian squad for T20 World Cup 2022. Wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson failed to make a cut, while Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel form the spin attack.