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India vs Australia 2017: Mohammed Shami eyeing comeback for last two Tests

The 26-year old fast bowler charts his Test comeback through Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Mohammed Shami
Shami had suffered a knee injury during the England series

What’s the story?

Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami has started preparing for making a comeback into the Test team. The 26-year old expressed his eagerness to feature in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in order to prove his match fitness ahead of the last two Tests against Australia.

Speaking to reporters at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Shami revealed, “I am doing fine now and have started bowling in the nets. I don't know yet but if I'm fully fit and comfortable to play, then I may play the last two matches (for Bengal in Vijay Hazare Trophy).

On India’s demoralising 333-run loss in the opening Test in Pune and its aftermath, he insisted, “Let's look forward, there's still a lot of cricket left in the series. Win and loss is part of the game. We may have a bad day. Let's not blame anyone and (instead) try to focus on the remaining matches. I'm sure we would bounce back.”

The Context

Shami had played in the first three Test matches against England before he was sidelined with a knee injury. According to the new rule set by head coach Anil Kumble, players returning from injury have to prove their match fitness by featuring in the domestic circuit in order to be considered for selection in the national team.

The heart of the matter

Shami, who is arguably India’s best current fast bowler across all conditions, began the home season by picking eight wickets in the 3-match series against New Zealand. His spell of 3/46 in the second innings of the second Test in Eden Gardens showed his tenacity to rise above personal turmoil.

Steadily forming a potent pace partnership with fellow speedster Umesh Yadav, Shami repeatedly troubled England’s batsmen in the initial phase of the 5-match series. Upon snaring 10 wickets from the first three games, he suffered a knee injury which has kept him out of action until now. 

What’s next?

The 2017 edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy is well under way. Slotted in Group C, Bengal still have matches left against Goa, Rajasthan, Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The last two group games are scheduled to take place on March 4 and 6 in Chennai. On the other hand, the third Test between India and Australia is slated to begin on March 16 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. The squad for the final Tests will be named in the intervening period.

Sportskeeda’s Take

Considering his ability to swing the new ball and reverse the older one, Shami’s comeback should certainly bolster India’s bowling attack. Even though his history of injuries demands a little bit of caution, the right-armer’s presence will be needed for the final two Tests of what is shaping up to be an exciting series. All eyes will be on Bengal’s last couple of group games in Vijay Hazare Trophy. 

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