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World Cup 2019: Has Mohammed Shami confirmed his place in the Indian squad for the tourney?

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Feature
786   //    26 Jan 2019, 21:42 IST

Mohammed Shami in action during the first New Zealand-India ODI
Mohammed Shami in action during the first New Zealand-India ODI

Mohammed Shami's ODI career can be divided into two parts: Before and after the 2015 ODI World Cup. He was a regular feature in the Indian ODI side from his debut against Pakistan in 2013 at Feroz Shah Kotla till the 2015 World Cup. He was someone who could reverse the old ball and take wickets at the death. But since the World Cup in 2015, he has been in and out of the ODI team due to injuries.

In Shami's absence, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have cemented their places in the eleven and they have proved themselves as better death bowlers. It is a matter of surprise that despite being the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 wickets in one-day internationals, his inclusion in the one-day team has not been a certainty in recent days even when he was fit and playing Test cricket regularly.

But lately, things seem to be changing for him. With Hardik Pandya being out of the ODI side firstly due to injury and now due to controversial statements and Jadeja making a comeback to the ODI side, India needs another fast bowler.

Shami has grabbed this opportunity with both hands. He bowled well in all the 3 matches against Australia and has also earned the Man of the Match award against New Zealand in the first ODI at Napier. Also, Khaleel and Siraj not performing well in the recent India-Australia ODI series have helped his chances.

Virat Kohli has been seen showing immense confidence in his abilities in Test matches and if Shami can keep himself fit in the upcoming days, it is almost certain that he will be given a ticket to England.

But still, it remains to be seen that what role he will be given once Bumrah is back in the team. Will the management be willing to disturb the Bumrah-Bhuvi duo with the new ball provided they have bowled excellently in the limited overs format?

On the other hand, Shami has bowled well with the new ball and he certainly is not that great a death bowler. So, will he be seen bowling in the middle overs with the spin duo or will he be playing as a front-line seam bowler? Only time will tell.

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