The Indian cricket team is currently playing the Asia Cup 2022 in UAE, and by the look of the squad, the main core is expected to be selected for the ICC T20 World Cup later this year. India are without Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel at the Asia Cup and these two are primary assets for the side. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the line and Arshdeep Singh grabbing his chances, India’s four-pace option looks set for the World T20 to be held in Australia. It remains to be seen whether India will go with five pacers in their 15-member squad or choose four, given Hardik Pandya is the pace all-rounder.
By the look of things and how India’s T20 team has shaped up of late, there may be no place for Mohammed Shami. We decode why he is set to miss out and why he doesn’t deserve a place.
Why is Shami set to be snubbed?
Shami last played a T20I for India back in November 2021. He played all five matches for India in the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Shami ended with six wickets, picking three each against Scotland and Afghanistan. Since then, Shami has been overlooked by the Indian team management and selectors for the shortest format. Besides Bumrah and Bhuvi, the likes of Harshal, Arshdeep, Deepak Chahar, and Avesh Khan have been in the mix. So seeing Shami all of a sudden in the T20I set-up would look strange. Shami was snubbed for the Asia Cup despite India losing two of their primary T20I specialists, and therefore it’s safe to say the selectors do not see Shami in the shortest format.
Shami doesn’t deserve a place in the World T20 squad
Shami is undoubtedly a top-quality bowler, but over the last 9 months, India have other players stepping up. Bhuvi has led the line. Bumrah remains the best bet, despite getting desired rest. The likes of Harshal and Arshdeep provide variety at the death and are wicket-taking bowlers. Chahar, with his exploits, and Avesh are back-up options alongside Shardul Thakur. The reason why Shami doesn’t deserve a place is that he has hardly been a regular. Despite making his debut in T20Is back in 2014, Shami has been absent. He has played just 17 T20Is in eight years and a few more months. Shami has taken 18 wickets at a dismal 31.55. He also has a high economy rate of 9.54, which is a risk given the nature of surfaces in Australia.
IPL not enough to hand Shami a T20I place
Shami has been a superb customer in the IPL, and he has shown a lot of consistency. He helped Gujarat Titans win the IPL 2022, taking 20 wickets at 24.40. In the three seasons before IPL 2022, Shami claimed 19, 20, and 19 wickets, respectively, to show why he remains a force. However, the same hasn’t been seen when it comes to playing for India in T20Is, Lack of games and being used sporadically means Shami is not in the reckoning anymore. Shami can also use his pace on the pitches in Australia and purchase swing, but India have their regular set of options, and one doesn’t fathom that to change.
Shami backed in ODIs and Tests
Shami is a natural fit in India’s ODI and Test teams. He has played regularly for India in these two formats, and the performances have been telling. To be a bankable star, he has 216 Test scalps and 156 ODI wickets. Shami has done well with his pace and swing and is a champion performer in these two formats. However, sadly he hasn’t ever hit the T20I circuit, and the abysmal number of games since his debut shows the state affairs.
Probable India’s WT20 squad – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Deepak Hooda.
Stand-by players: Deepak Chahar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer.