‘Why Shami not there?’: Madan Lal on Indian pacer’s snub from T20 World Cup 15-man squad
Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal expressed his disappointment at Mohammed Shami‘s exclusion from the 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.
Experienced Indian pacer Shami was not selected for the team but will still go to Australia as a backup.
He was no longer a part of India’s T20I programme after the T20 World Cup last year. He has been invited back into the team for the South Africa and Australia T20I series, though, following the team’s disappointing performance in the Asia Cup 2022.
Madan Lal suggested that Shami should have been included in the T20 WC squad because of the favourable conditions in Australia.
“He (Shami) is your big match bowler. And in Australia he could be really important. I don’t understand why he is not in the 15-man squad. He is a kind of bowler who, in the first three overs, can get you wickets,” Madan Lal told IANS.
Shami made his international debut in 2013 and has since appeared in just 17 T20Is for India. The 32-year-old played a key role in Gujarat Titans’ first-season title victory in IPL 2022 by taking 20 wickets in 16 games.
“See you need a good bowling unit if you want to win the tournament. No matter if your team scores 180 but you do not have good bowling to defend it. They (India) picked three spinners for Australia. I don’t think spinners can get much benefit out there. On one odd day or wicket, they can be useful but for the entire tournament, you need a solid pace bowling unit there in Australia.
“I am happy that Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel are back in the team. Their fitness will monitored in upcoming series as well. Arshdeep Singh is learning well, Bhuvi is also there but India should have added Shami in the squad. He is your experienced bowler and conditions Down Under can help him.”
Further asked about India’s batting order and KL Rahul’s form, the 1983 World Cup winning team member said, “he will be fine and can make a comeback, I am sure.
“Virat Kohli was also struggling but he made a solid comeback and Rahul too is a good batter and can turn things around in India’s favour. I am not much concerned about India’s batting order. They all are fine,” he said.
“Also, India should learn from Sri Lanka like they played in the Asia Cup final. Despite losing five wickets for 50 they kept fighting and made a good total at the end.”
India squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Standby players: Mohd Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.