Former Indian pacer, Madan Lal has opined that Mohammed Shami is an obvious choice for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, labeling him India’s best pacer after Jasprit Bumrah owing to his wicket-taking abilities. He went on to highlight Shami’s good record in Australia, questioning whether the other bowlers are as good. India seems to have their template for the marque event in Australia more or less set as they compete in the ongoing Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Accept the injury of Jasprit Bumrah who’s missing from the tournament, the 16-member squad is expected to be pretty much the same for the marquee event. However, that would mean one of India’s premier pacers Mohammed Shami will not be playing the T20 World Cup. Incidentally, the right-arm quick has not played a T20I since the tournament in the middle-east last year.
Hardik Pandya’s return from injury means he has also regularly chipped in with the full quota of four overs, making Shami’s inclusion look unlikely. Talking about Shami, during a chat with Hindustan Time, Madan Lal said, “Shami should definitely be in the team for the T20 World Cup. He’s our best bowler after Bumrah. I would look for a bowler who could get me wickets. I don’t want bowlers who would only look to contain runs.”
He further explained, “Batters will keep scoring runs in this format. The only way to stem the flow of runs is to take wickets. The Indian selectors will make a big mistake if they don’t pick Shami. He’s a great bowler and has done well in Australia in the past. I don’t understand why they are not picking him for T20s. You think he’s not a better bowler than those who are playing now? He’s one of the best bowlers in world cricket.”
India has T20Is against Australia and South Africa scheduled before they play the World Cup in October and it remains to be seen whether Shami will be given a chance to prove his mettle once more.