Should India consider Mohammed Shami in T20Is? Ricky Ponting answers
Indian seamer Mohammed Shami has been making the news over the last few days. As per InsideSport, the right-armer could be one of India's possible pace options for the T20 World Cup. Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting strongly disapproves of Shami's selection in the T20I set-up. He believes India have plenty of pace bowlers who are better than Shami in the 20-overs. Here's more.
Here's what Ponting said
"I think there are better fast bowlers in Indian T20 cricket than Shami and they've only named three (for the Asia Cup). So if there's potentially four named in the squad he might be the fourth man in," said Ponting on The ICC Review. The two-time World Cup-winning skipper feels Shami's strength lies in the longest format than the 20-over fixtures.
Why does this story matter?
Shami wasn't picked in the Asia Cup squad which was announced a few days earlier. His supposedly return to the T20Is could happen if Jasprit Bumrah fails to recover for the T20 WC in October-November. The latter has suffered a back injury which makes him doubtful for selection. India would need an experienced pacer to be paired alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the Australian conditions.
Can Shami make the cut?
Shami is a seasoned campaigner in limited-overs. However, the speedster last played a T20I versus Namibia in the 2021 T20 World Cup. As per Hindustan Times, India have tried 11 different pacers in this interval. Shami has garnered only 18 scalps averaging 31.55. Plus, he has a questionable economy of 10.22 in death-overs. He has a faint chance of making the T20 WC squad.
Decoding India's options in the pace department
India's major options in terms of pace bowlers in the format are Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Shardul, and Deepak Chahar. Notably, Arshdeep makes a strong statement alongside Harshal. Below, we highlight the performance of the duo alongside Avesh.
Arshdeep is a solid contender for T20 WC
Arshdeep Singh was all over the Windies in the concluded five-match T20Is. The left-armer snared seven wickets at a jaw-dropping average 16.14. A noted death-overs specialist, Arshdeep registered 17 dot balls and conceded only 34 runs in this interval. He bagged five wickets in the death-overs, averaging 6.80. Although fairly young, the seamer is ready to prove his mettle at the mega event.
The rise of Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel has emerged as a wicket-taker in recent times. The T20 specialist has plenty of variations that make him a match-winner. Harshal was the third-highest wicket-taker for RCB in IPL 2022 (19 scalps). He has snared 19 scalps in T20Is played this year. The 31-year-old's death-over tactics could be a deciding factor in Australia.
What about Avesh?
A tall hit-the-deck bowler, Avesh sprung into limelight in IPL 2021, wherein he earned 24 scalps. He has bagged 11 T20I wickets at 31.81. He is an out-and-out wicket-taker in the powerplay, with seven scalps at an eye-popping average of 12.71. He has been picked for the Asia Cup. If Avesh makes an impressive show, he could be in the contention for T20 WC.