Will Umesh, Shami be a part of World Cup squad?Last updated on Oct 23, 2018, 08:14 pm
India's pace attack will remain the discussion point in the run-up to the ICC World Cup 2019.
The mega event is less than 8 months away. India will play 17 ODIs before the World Cup.
By then, they have to identify two more pacers in addition to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who would feature in the 15-man World Cup squad.
India likely to name four pacers in 15-man squad
India are likely to name four premium pacers in the squad with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the fifth one.
The math is simple at the moment. India's XI in the mega event would have two pacers, Pandya and two spinners.
Two pace bowlers would be used as back-ups.
One of them will make it in XI, if three premier pacers are played.
Shami and Umesh were recently called up for WI series
Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who are genuine performers in Tests, have found themselves in and out of the ODI set-up.
The duo finally got a call-up for the ongoing ODIs against West Indies.
Shami finished with 2/81 and Umesh notched 0/64 in the first ODI.
One would feel they weren't impressive. However, the pitch in Guwahati was a paradise for batsmen.
Crucial phase for Shami and Umesh
It is crucial for the duo to make the most of the remaining matches of the series.
A productive outing could hand them berths in the squad against Australia and New Zealand.
Being in the mix and a part of the squad could enhance their prospects ahead of the World Cup.
Given that they have the experience, the management might select them.
The scenario surrounding Shami and Umesh
Shami featured in three ODIs in 2017 and prior to that he had played in 2015.
In 2017, he picked up just 4 wickets.
Umesh, on the other hand, has been in the reckoning since the last couple of years.
But he has not been impressive.
He was dropped for the Asia Cup but replaced Thakur for the series versus West Indies.
Both were terrific in ICC World Cup 2015
When you look back, in the 2015 World Cup, these two were superb for India.
Umesh picked 18 wickets in the event as Shami got 17.
They helped India reach the semis and were consistent throughout.
They have the character to come good.
What bodes well for them is that the other options in pace haven't delivered.
The duo should get the benefit of the doubt
In 74 ODIs, Umesh has 105 scalps. Shami has an impressive 93 wickets in 51 matches.
They have economy rates of just under 6 and their statistics show that their wicket-taking abilities.
Both have played in England and know the conditions well.
These two share an excellent rapport with regulars Bhuvi and JB as they play Tests together.
Khaleel is in mix and that could spell trouble
India are exploring the possibility of including left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed.
The management wants a bowler who offers variations.
He is the one, the management is keen to groom for the future.
If Khaleel keeps putting in spirited shows, then he would make the cut.
This could leave either Shami or Umesh out of the 15-man squad.
Khaleel has 5 wickets in three matches.
Others have failed to deliver
Besides Bhuvi and JB, India have these three options. The rest haven't been up to the mark. Thakur is injury prone. Siddarth Kaul and Deepak Chahar haven't done anything significant in the chances they have received. Mohammad Siraj too hasn't impressed till now.