Asia Cup 2022: Ravi Shastri questions decision to not include Mohammad Shami in Asia Cup squad
Asia Cup 2022: Former India coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday raised questions over the exclusion of ace India pacer Mohammad Shami from the Asia Cup squad where the fancied Indian team lost two consecutive matches and failed to qualify for the final.
After batting first in two straight matches over the course of four days, the Indian cricket team was unable to protect its score. On September 4, Pakistan defeated India, and afterwards Sri Lanka also succeeded in pursuing the goal set by Indian hitters. In light of the T20 World Cup, which begins in about a month, veteran Ravi Shastri raised the issue of Shami’s exclusion.
He described the choice as completely puzzling after becoming upset that the pacer was left off the team.
“Mohammed Shami sitting at home and cooling his heels baffles me,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Ravi Shastri as saying.
Shastri’s worries stemmed mostly from the fact that India entered the competition with just three specialised fast bowlers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh were the only specialist pacers India could field due to the illness of Avesh Khan, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya serving as the third seam option going into the Super 4s.
Since the fast bowler had practising with the team in Dubai, India could have included Deepak Chahar in the lineup, but they opted to wait for Avesh to fit. They were effectively eliminated from the running for the Asia Cup final after their two consecutive losses.
“You needed that extra one… Someone like Mohammed Shami sitting at home and cooling his heels baffles me. After the IPL he had, for him not to be able to make the cut is… Obviously, I’m seeing something different,” ESPNcricinfo quoted the former coach as saying.
When Gujurat Titans made their IPL debut in 2022 and went on to win their first title, Shami had a standout season.
The right-arm bowler was in top form as he participated in every game and took 20 wickets (16). He also tied Mukesh Choudhary for the top power-play statistics in terms of picking wickets. In the power-play, both bowlers claimed 11 wickets. His economy of 6.62 was fifth out of the 14 competitors who bowled 20 or more overs.
India’s inability to take wickets early on led to their bowling problems against Sri Lanka. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis, Sri Lanka’s openers, scored 97 runs in 11.1 overs to start on their chase. Although spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin returned them with four consecutive wickets. Sri Lanka had already reached a sizeable portion of the mark early on.
Team India is no longer in the running for the championship. After Pakistan’s Naseem Shah’s two back-to-back sixes in the first two balls of the final over overcame some outstanding bowling by Afghanistan earlier in the innings to give Pakistan a thrilling one-wicket victory in the Super Four match on Wednesday. India’s team would have remained hopeful with a victory for Afghanistan.