Why Mohammed Shami has been kept on Standby players list and not in main squad?

As per a report, it was never between Harshal Patel and Mohammed Shami but it was R Ashwin vs Shami.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 13 September 2022 05:58 PM

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced a 15-member squad for T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia in October. The Indian cricket board also named four standby players. There were some expected names on the list in the main squad. However, Mohammed Shami’s name on the Standby Players list instead of the main squad caused a lot of stirs. 

The decision to keep the veteran pacer out of the main squad did not sit too well with fans as well as cricket experts. Many former Indian cricketers lambasted the BCCI Selection Committee for not picking Shami. Former India captain and ex-chairman of selection committee Kris Srikkanth also criticised the decision and said that he would have picked Shami over Harshal Patel. 

But, as per a report, it was never between Harshal Patel and Mohammed Shami but it was R Ashwin vs Shami. Harshal Patel was an automatic selection after he made himself available post-recovery. The toss-up was between Ashwin and Shami and the off-spinner was preferred for many reasons. Also, the report revealed that although the selectors made the decision, it was Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid who insisted on having Ashwin in the mix. 

An InsideSport report claimed that the Indian captain and coach wanted Ashwin over Shami as they are of the opinion that the right-arm off-spinner would add variety to the bowling attack on the Australian summer pitches that will aid spin. Besides adding variety, Ashwin was preferred for his experience of bowling on pitches Down Under. Too many left-handers in some of the opposition teams also worked in Ashwin’s favour. 

Meanwhile, former national selector Saba Karim reckoned that Shami has been kept in the loop because both Bumrah and Harshal Patel have just come back from injuries. “The fact remains that they have drafted Mohammed Shami as a standby for the World Cup also goes to show that maybe they still have doubts about Bumrah and Harshal’s fitness. That’s why perhaps they want to keep Shami in the loop,” Karim told Sportstar. 

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