'Shami not as professional as Bumrah when it comes to training': Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik came up with a huge claim against Indian fast-bowler Mohammad Shami, stating that the pacer is not as "professional" in his fitness regime and overall attention to training as his experienced new-ball partner Jasprit Bumrah.
The veteran wicketkeeper-batter believes Shami, who is recovering from an injury to be fit in time for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in February-March next year, may not always be fit and ready to go to face the mighty Aussies.
As India aim for a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) with a 3-0 or better scoreline victory in the four-match Test series at home, their final assignment of this WTC cycle, the Rohit Sharma-led side would want their senior pros Shami and Bumrah back on the field.
Karthik, however, cast a shadow of doubt on Mohammad Shami's participation by alluding to his injury issues and revealing that the pacer hasn't always given training its due importance as a fast bowler.
Karthik on Shami's fitness
"For Shami, it’s a big question, because he is somebody who is probably not as professional as Bumrah when it comes to training," Karthik told Cricbuzz when asked if he sees Shami and Bumrah operating in tandem at BGT 2023. "He (Shami) has had an injury and he’s been injury-struck for some time."
Amidst a spree of injury to Indian quicks, Karthik raised a valid point, asking the NCA to align their plans with India's international itinerary to ensure that the team's key men are able to take the field consistently.
Question marks have hovered over the suitability of NCA as a body ever since Indian players have experienced repeated injury issues, with cricketers going down even after being approved for comeback by the state-of-the-art facility in Karnataka.
“The whole Indian backups have been injured over a period of time for some strange reason. The Indian team and NCA need to align themselves towards how they are going to plan in making sure the players stay fit over a period of time."
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Karthik was delighted to see his Tamil Nadu and India teammate Ravichandran Ashwin produce a gem of a knock in the final innings of the Mirpur Test against Bangladesh. With India reeling at 74/7 in a tricky chase of 145, Ashwin came up with an unbeaten 42 and stitched a 71-run stand with Shreyas Iyer to win the game for his side.
For Karthik, Ashwin's form with the bat and the ball will be of great importance to India's chances of upstaging the Aussies and arranging a potential WTC final clash with them at The Oval come the English summer.
"In the previous decade, there were not many series won without Anil Kumble. That mantle has been taken over by Ashwin. He makes a major contribution in most of the series played on the subcontinent. He has the mental edge over Australia and that needs to come through," he said.