‘He won’t try too many things’: Robin Uthappa on Mohammed Shami’s lack of match practice ahead of T20 World Cup

Written by Rohit Pawar

Mohammed Shami is set to replace the injured Jasprit Bumrah in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup, leading to mixed reactions from fans and former cricketers. While Shami has proven himself as a potent T20 fast bowler, the fact remains that he has not played an international match in the format since the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Calls for including Shami increased after India’s Asia Cup campaign earlier this year but the pacer could not play in the subsequent home series. Former India opener Robin Uthappa feels that lack of match practice won’t be too big a problem for someone as experienced as Shami.

“Not necessarily because I think he will get a couple of warm-up games before the tournament itself begins. So, I think for someone with his experience, it’s about muscle memory. I feel once he gets back, he will have a little bit of clarity, he will sit down with the bowling staff as well and figure out how he wants to go about his business,” said Uthappa on ESPNCricinfo.

Shami was the highest wicket taker for the Gujarat Titans as they won the IPL in their inaugural season in the tournament earlier this year. “I don’t think there will be a lack of clarity. In fact, it’ll be simpler for someone like him because he knows and understands there won’t be too much time. So, he won’t try too many things and keep things simple. You want to keep things simple in a big tournament like that,” said Uthappa.

Uthappa also said that India may have to choose between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel as he feels that Arshdeep Singh has to be in the team as a left-arm pacer.

“I think he walks into the setup. It also depends upon how many fast bowlers you go with because you also have Hardik Pandya there. I would ideally want to go with a left-arm fast bowler because that change of angle makes a huge difference and Arshdeep is also bowling exceptionally well with the new ball. I would go with Arshdeep Singh, Shami, Bhuvi,” he said.

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Rohit Pawar

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