India quick to miss Proteas Test series; will not travel with team
Mohammed Shami's participation in the upcoming Test series against South Africa hangs in the balance, raising the possibility of his exclusion from the two matches against the Proteas. The Indian fast bowler is currently dealing with an ankle injury, leading to his exclusion from the squad traveling to South Africa for the Tests as confirmed by Cricbuzz. The final group of players, including captain Rohit Sharma, is set to depart for Johannesburg on Friday (December 15). However, the experienced 33-year-old pacer will not be part of this contingent.
Joining the skipper on the flight to South Africa on Friday via Dubai will be Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, and Harshit Rana. Although the selectors have not yet designated a replacement for Shami, there is speculation that given the considerable number of players already present in South Africa for T20Is, ODIs, Tests, and A series, one of the existing pacers could be drafted into the Test setup. Currently, over 75 Indian players are on tour in South Africa.
Mohammed Shami has been carrying the injury through the ODI World Cup
Shami was a conditional selection for the Test series and during the squad announcement for the South Africa series on November 30, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clarified that Shami was undergoing treatment. The pacer had been grappling with ankle pain and it is revealed that he carried the workload of the World Cup despite the discomfort, particularly experiencing issues while landing on his right foot during the delivery.
The first Test is scheduled to commence on Boxing Day (December 26) at Centurion, followed by the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town. Before the Tests, there is a three-day game for the Test selections starting on December 20. Subsequently, the T20Is will be followed by three ODIs on December 17, 19, and 21.