Team India has good news and bad news to deal with. Mohammad Shami has cleared his fitness test and is all set to be named Jasprit Bumrah replacement. However, Deepak Chahar is unlikely to make it to the T20 World Cup. He is still at the NCA and it is unlikely that he will be fit by October 15, when BCCI has to submit the final squad to the ICC. Mohammed Siraj is likely to be named in reserves in place of Chahar.
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Shami, Siraj along with Ravi Bishnoi and Shreyas Iyer will take the flight to Australia on October 13 and will link up with the squad in Brisbane. India will play Western Australia on October 13 in Perth but will move to Brisbane on October 14. Gabba will be India’s base where they play Australia and New Zealand in warm-up games before T20 World Cup 2022.
“Shami is fit and fine to go. He had a few good sessions. What he lacks is match practice and we have to bank on the two warm-up games to get him at 100%. It’s a big challenge but he is an experienced bowler and knows what is needed. Deepak is still not fit. So, we can’t take a call on his inclusion yet. The physios will decide in a day or two.”a member of the selection committee told InsideSport
Shami was brought into the Indian team after the bowlers’ poor show in the Asia Cup. The experienced pacer was picked for the T20 World Cup team as well. But unfortunately, Shami contracted Covid-19, ruling him out of India vs Australia series. Despite being tested negative, he has not been able to come back into the manifold.
It is given that the player normally takes time before attaining peak fitness after Covid and it is a growing concern now. It is not only about his fitness though, Shami has not featured in the shorter format for India since November 2021. Add the fitness angle and his lack of international matches is a major concern.