The strategic minds behind the Indian team have chosen to keep the ace speedster Mohammed Shami on the bench for their battles in this Asia Cup.
In a remarkable display of dominance, Team India stands as the sole unbeaten force in the ongoing Asia Cup, showcasing their prowess by triumphing over Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the challenging six-team tournament.
The result? A well-deserved spot in the tournament's final showdown. However, the strategic minds behind the Indian team have chosen to keep the ace speedster, Mohammed Shami, on the bench for their battles in this Asia Cup, opting to rely on just two frontline seamers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.
In their most recent skirmish against Sri Lanka, the ‘Men in Blue' entrusted their bowling duties to Axar Patel, while Shardul Thakur had previously taken the stage.
This strategic shift has not come without its share of challenges. India's bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, expressed the team's contentment with Bumrah's recovery from injury. He also acknowledged the difficulty of leaving out the seasoned Shami from the playing XI.
“We have been following Bumrah's progress from the NCA, and we are very happy with the report that we have got. Now, we have four quality bowlers, and it is always great to have those options. The problem of plenty is always good,” Mhambrey explained ahead of India's final Super Four showdown against Bangladesh.
He further shed light on the tough decision to sideline a player of Shami's caliber, emphasizing the player's incredible experience and contributions to the country.
Not easy to tell players like Mohammed Shami that they have been dropped
“It's not very easy to drop someone like Shami. The experience that he has and the performance that he has done for the country is phenomenal. It's never easy to have that kind of a conversation (dropping a player),” Mhambrey admitted.
However, it's not all gloom for Shami, as Mhambrey clarified that the communication regarding his exclusion was handled with transparency, ensuring that Shami understood the move was for the greater good of the team.
“But we are clear in the way we have gone about the conversation with the players, and they have shown confidence in us. Players know any decision we take, and they know that it is for the benefit of the team,” Mhambrey concluded.
Mohammed Shami's impressive track record includes 91 ODIs for India, wherein he has scalped 163 wickets at an average of 26.01 and a striking rate of 27.90.
His presence was felt in the match against Nepal when Bumrah was absent, tending to the birth of his first child. The 33-year-old Shami contributed significantly, securing a wicket and conceding only 29 runs in his seven overs, showcasing his unwavering commitment to the team's cause.