Ravi Shastri, Wasim Akram ‘baffled’ by the exclusion of Mohammed Shami from the Indian squad

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In a post-match show, Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram questioned the Indian selection committee’s decision to not include pacer Mohammed Shami in the squad for The Asia Cup, 2022.

India lost to Srilanka in their second super-four group match. Srilanka defeated India by 6 wickets. The game went down to the penultimate delivery of the match. Barring the skipper, India’s top order failed miserably. Rahul continued his poor run while last match hero Kohli was dismissed for a duck. Captain Rohit Sharma anchored the Indian innings with a score of 72 off 41 balls and India somehow managed to put on a score of 173.

Srilanka, having chased down 175 in their previous match versus Afghanistan, came in with a lot of belief. Both their openers scored half centuries, hence putting pressure on the opposition’s bowling attack. Chahal managed to take 3 crucial wickets. Srilankan skipper, Dasun Shanaka, came in at the 15th over. He destroyed India’s death bowling attack and scored a total of 26 runs in the 18th and 19th overs of the innings. The skipper was awarded man of the match for his fiery innings.

Ravi Shastri questions the omission of Shami from the squad

While speaking at the post-match show on Star Sports, former Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri said he was surprised that India came in with only 4 fast bowling options while a quality pacer like Shami is sitting at home. He said,

“I think the selection could have been better, especially for the fast bowlers. You know the conditions here. There’s not much in it for the spinner. I was quite surprised that you came here with just four fast bowlers. You needed that extra one. Someone like Mohammed Shami sitting at home and cooling his heels baffles me.”

Former Pakistan pacer, Wasim Akram was standing right next to him. He popped up a question to Shastri. He asked,

“Does a coach have input in selecting the team?”

To this, Shastri immediately replied,

“He does. He’s not part of the selection but can contribute by saying ‘this is the combination we want, then it’s up to the captain in the meeting to take that forward.”

Shami sidelined from the limited-over format

Mohammed Shami has been a successful pacer for India in the test format. Yet, he has been sidelined from the limited-over format for a long time, even after having successful IPL seasons. In a tournament like this wherein India is missing their prime face, Jasprit Bumrah, due to an injury, Shami could have been the next best option to replace him. The pacer has played 17 international T20 matches to date and has a total of 18 wickets.

India now stands on the brink of elimination from the Asia Cup, 2022. They will have to win their next game against Afghanistan and also will have to depend on other group results. India currently ranks third in the group, whereas Srilanka ranks first, having won both the games.

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