Friday, May 24

India vs Bangladesh: Mohammed Shami’s Intriguing Performance in the 2023 World Cup

In the 2023 World Cup, the performance of Mohammed Shami in matches against Bangladesh has been nothing short of captivating. His consistent display of skill and precision on the field has left fans and experts alike in awe. Shami’s ability to deliver under pressure and make crucial breakthroughs for the Indian team has set him apart as a valuable asset. As the competition unfolds, all eyes will be on this exceptional cricketer to see how he continues to make a difference in the games against Bangladesh and beyond.

In the ongoing World Cup, India’s bowling performance has been nothing short of impressive. They managed to dismiss both Australia and Pakistan, and came close to repeating this feat against Afghanistan. The last time India’s bowling attack appeared this formidable was during the 2015 edition, where they consistently got oppositions out in every match, except for the semi-final loss to Australia. Back then, MS Dhoni was leading the team, and their approach was heavily focused on pace. It was a winning formula that worked like a charm for India, setting a high standard for their current bowlers to match.

 

India vs Bangladesh: Mohammed Shami's Intriguing Performance in the 2023 World Cup
India vs Bangladesh: Mohammed Shami’s Intriguing Performance in the 2023 World Cup

 

In the 2015 World Cup campaign, one name stood out as a consistent wicket-taker, and that was Mohammed Shami. He finished the tournament with an impressive tally of 17 wickets from seven games, boasting an average of 17.29, a strike rate of 21.52, and an economical rate of just 4.81. What makes his performance even more remarkable is that he played the tournament with a knee injury, which temporarily sidelined him for the match against UAE. Despite this, Shami was MS Dhoni’s go-to man for taking crucial wickets.

He was India’s trusted performer in 2015, and he further demonstrated his abilities in the 2019 edition with 14 wickets in just four matches, including a memorable hat-trick. However, in the current World Cup, Shami finds himself warming the bench. His absence from the playing XI is likely to continue unless there’s an injury concern or a decision driven by workload management.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have become the team’s favored new-ball bowling duo. Rohit Sharma, the captain, has additional reliable options in the form of Hardik Pandya, whom he regards as a legitimate third seamer, and Shardul Thakur, who bolsters the batting order. Given the current scenario, where the team typically includes two spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, the only path for Mohammed Shami to secure a spot in the playing eleven is by displacing either Bumrah or Siraj.

The management has hinted that the choice between Shardul and R Ashwin will be dictated by the pitch conditions, much like they did on a turning track in Chennai. Therefore, Shami’s primary competition for a place in the team is with either Bumrah or Siraj.

At present, there’s little reason for India to make changes to their regular bowling lineup. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj showcased their full potential during net sessions on October 17, and the management is eager to sustain their excellent form. While Mohammed Shami has shown impressive form in his net practice sessions, the team aims to maintain this momentum.

Bowling coach Paras Mhambrey mentioned during a pre-match media session, “Yeah, I think it’s important to maintain this start really. So as of now, there is no discussion of kind of rotation from our point of view. I think it is important to carry this momentum for the next game as well. No thought as such.”

Excluding Shami from the playing eleven, particularly after his outstanding performance in the ODI against Australia in Mohali, is always a challenging decision, but for Team India, it hinges on specific conditions and the nature of the pitch.

Decisions like this are never easy, and the coaching staff has been transparent in their communication with Shami. According to bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, they emphasize that the squad selection is based on what they believe is the best for the particular pitch. The tough calls are part of the game, and even though Shami offers immense quality to the team, such decisions must be made because only eleven players can be on the field.

In the recent open net session on Tuesday, Shami continued to display his excellence, troubling top batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill with the new ball. His deliveries from a good length spot were a challenge for the batsmen. Shami’s quality is unquestionable, but Mohammed Siraj’s outstanding performance over the last year, particularly his ability to control and take wickets in various game phases, has earned him a higher place in the pecking order.

Like in 2019, Shami finds himself in a waiting game, much like he did during the previous edition. In 2019, India opted for Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as their new ball pair. The team’s management is likely hoping that when an opportunity arises for Shami in the current World Cup, he can replicate the magic he produced in 2019. During that tournament, he secured a hat-trick in his first game against Afghanistan and concluded with impressive figures of 4/40.


Also read: India Secures First Medal at Asian Games 2023: Women’s 10m Air Rifle Team Wins Silver

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