Mohammad Shami named replacement for Jasprit Bumrah in India's T20 World Cup squad; Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj in reserves
Mohammad Shami has returned to India's T20I squad in time for the World Cup Down Under.
Mohammad Shami's speculated return to India's T20I side has gotten a stamp of approval from the BCCI ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. The veteran seamer has been named replacement for injured ace Jasprit Bumrah, becoming the elusive 15th member of the main touring contingent. Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur have been named as backups and will travel to Australia shortly.
Bumrah's untimely back injury has proven to be a blessing for Shami, who last played a T20I near the conclusion of India's disastrous Super 12 exit at the T20 World Cup in UAE last November. The pacer has been a sporadic presence in the shortest format for India, playing only 17 T20Is over eight years since his debut back in 2014.
The 32-year-old was first brought back to the scene for the home T20Is versus Australia and South Africa. But a positive Covid-19 test prior to the three-match series against the Aussies delayed his return and confined him to rehab at the NCA.
Mohammad Shami didn't play any of the recent T20Is as the selectors and the management smartly took no risks with the bowler's recovery from the contagious virus in wake of Bumrah's absence.
Shami named Bumrah's replacement; Siraj part of the reserves
Shami reached Brisbane on Friday (October 14) after flying from India on Wednesday upon receiving a nod from the NCA physios and medical staff personnel, who were overseeing his rehab at the state-of-the-art facility in Bangalore.
He will link up with the rest of the India squad prior to the team's first official warm-up game against Australia on October 17, followed by a practise encounter versus New Zealand on October 19. Both matches will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.
The pacer's return is a direct byproduct of his experience and the gap provided for the same in the side by Bumrah's injury-forced absence. The cricketer has a poor T20I record to his name, going for 9.54 an over with 18 wickets.
At the T20 World Cup in the Middle East, his six wickets in five games cost India an ER of 8.84 after NRR became a massive factor in the aftermath of losses to Pakistan and New Zealand.
Shami had an encouraging IPL 2022, though, to his name for Gujarat Titans (GT), playing his part in the franchise's ascent to the title in their first season. He took 20 wickets from his 16 games at an economy rate of 8.00.
India have also made a change among their standbys for the T20 World Cup. With Shami entering the main touring party, the list of reserves has seen the addition of Mohammed Siraj, who has had an impressive year with the new and the old ball in ODIs. Shardul Thakur is the other inclusion to the reserve options as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Deepak Chahar.
India's squad (updated): Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami
Standby Players: Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur