New Delhi : Former India captain and ex-chairman of selection committee Krishnamachari Srikkanth on Monday questioned the absence of Mohammed Shami from India’s T20 World Cup squad, saying that the pacer would have been an ideal pick for the bouncy pitches of Australia.
As per Srikkanth, Shami could have given India early wickets with the new-ball Down Under. The 62-year-old former cricketer’s reaction came after the BCCI announced India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup 2022, starting October 22.
Veteran fast bowler Shami was included as part of a 4-man standby but he is not in the main squad. Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya are the fast-bowling options in the squad.
The 32-year-old Shami hasn’t played a single T20I after India’s horrific ICC T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE in November 2021. However, Srikkanth said it’s unfair to leave the pacer out of the scheme of things in the shortest format of the game.
“Mohammed Shami should have been there. You are playing in Australia. Shami can get bounce in Australia, he has a high-arm action. He can get the ball going away from the left-hander, going into the right-hander. In the first 3 overs, he can get 2-3 wickets.
“If I was the chairman of the selection committee, Shami would definitely be in the team. We are playing in Australia, the guy’s got the real action, the guy’s got bounce, he can bear the moment and he can get on early wickets, so I would have probably got Shami instead of Harshal Patel,” Srikkanth told Star Sports.
“Yes, Harshal Patel is a good bowler, no doubt about it, but Mohammad Shami is the right guy, I mean they can say not the scheme of things, he’s only for test cricket or one day cricket but we are playing in Australia.
That guy has done well last IPL, so Shami is the must in my team,” he added.Shami had a memorable IPL 2022 campaign with debutants Gujarat Titans, finishing the season with 20 wickets in 16 games at 24.40 as the Titans lifted the trophy in their maiden season.
Despite that, he wasn’t not considered for the recently-concluded Asia Cup, even in the absence of Bumrah and Harshal.However, Shami has now been picked for the home T20I series against Australia and South Africa which will be played from September 20 to October 4.