India call-up Shahbaz Ahmed for Zimbabawe tour as replacement for injured Washington Sundar
After an impressive domestic season with Bengal, Shahbaz Ahmed will travel to Harare with the Indian team.
India have handed a maiden call-up to Bengal spin allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed for the tour of Zimbabwe. Ahmed comes in as an injury replacement for like-for-like Washington Sundar.
Sundar has been ruled out of what was set to be his comeback assignment with a shoulder injury. The young cricketer suffered it after diving in the field during a match on his county stint in England recently.
He was playing for Lancashire in the Royal London One-Day Cup when the incident happened. The cricketer walked off the field as a precausionary measure but couldn't recover in time to link-up with the KL Rahul-led Harare-bound touring party.
Sundar's loss is Shahbaz Ahmed's gain, as he is not to fill in for the spin allrounder for India's next set of ICC Super League matches.
Shahbaz Ahmed named replacement for Zimbabwe tour
Indian fans would know Shahbaz Ahmed as an integral part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. A utility cricketer, Shahbaz scored 219 runs and took four wickets for RCB at IPL 2022, where the Faf du Plessis led side used him as a floater with bat in hand and in the sixth-bowler's capacity against right match-ups.
More than his stint with RCB, it is a bumper Ranji Trophy season with Bengal that would've brought Ahmed under the selectors' notice. In his five matches during Bengal's campaign, the 27-year-old hit 482 runs at an average of 60.25 in India's premier domestic first-class competition this year, including a century. He backed that up with 20 wickets at 22.10, including a best of 5 for 79.
In the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22, Shahbaz Ahmed made 227 runs at an average of 75.66 and picked 6 wickets with an economy rate of 4.32, taking his overall List A career tally to 662 runs at 47.28 per innings and 24 wickets at 4.43 runs an over.
Shahbaz has an overall career T20 economy rate of 7.24 after 56 matches, reflective of his ability to maintain a a decent leash on run-scoring. At the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 this season, he went for only 5.34 an over across six matches for Bengal.
In Zimbabwe, he will play a backup to an in-form Axar Patel, who is set to play the spin allrounder's role at No.7 for India in absence of the incumbent Ravindra Jadeja.
India's squad (updated): KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed.