Former legendary Pakistan pace bowler Wasim Akram feels Team India can play with the same XI as New Zealand match in their next 2023 World Cup game against England in Lucknow on October 29 as well. Mohammed Shami came into the side against the Kiwis and won the Player of the Match award for his stunning figures of 5/54. Akram feels that India shouldn’t rush the injured Hardik Pandya back as they did well even without him as well.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda alongside former Indian cricketer S Sreesanth, he said: “This squad looks good even without Pandya. If he is fit then well and good. It will be difficult to drop Shami now. I feel India shouldn’t risk Pandya (against England) because if it’s an injury to a hamstring or quad, then although you feel good initially, you could pull a muscle in the match. So let him recover 100 percent and then you can play him. Credit to the team management that whenever any player in the squad comes into the XI, he seems ready. When Shami’s ball hits the seam, it can deviate either way. That’s why I think Shami for me was the player of the match.”
Meanwhile, Sreesanth shared how tough it is for any new-ball bowler to used to the situation of bowling with a relatively older ball as well. He was impressed with how Mohammed Shami did well and managed to produce his best.
On this, Sreesanth said: “It is not easy to come into the World Cup and hit the ground running straightaway. He (Shami) is a new ball bowler and sometimes while bowling first-change, you can get emotional and think ‘why didn’t i get the new ball?’ But he has the experience and he made the most of the opportunity that he got to win the game for his country.”