What's the story?
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has given his verdict on who, between Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, should be included in India's playing XI in their World Cup 2019 encounter against West Indies in Manchester.
The Little Master mentioned that he would pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if deemed fit, owing to his ability to swing the ball that could unsettle the West Indies batsmen.
In case you didn't know..
Bhuvneshwar Kumar limped off during the India-Pakistan World Cup clash in Manchester after having bowled just three overs. The team management later ruled out the bowler for two or three matches.
However, his absence in India's playing XI against Afghanistan wasn't much of an issue for India as the pacer was replaced by Mohammed Shami, who put up a brilliant bowling spell in Southampton against Afghanistan.
The heart of the matter
Following an average batting performance from India, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami's bowling exploits sealed a nervy 11-run win for India as they beat Afghanistan to remain unbeaten in the World Cup 2019 campaign.
Shami, in particular was the standout as he picked up four wickets during his ten-over spell, which included a hat-trick in the final over of the innings. Having put up a stellar bowling performance in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the 29-year-old has strengthened his claim for a spot in the playing XI.
In a recent tweet, BCCI posted a video of Bhuvneshwar Kumar training in the nets. The caption of the video read:
"Look who's back in the nets,"
However, there has been no official word from BCCI about the bowler's potential return.
Amidst the speculations surrounding the return of Buvneshwar Kumar, former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar gave his verdict on the debate, after being quizzed on who should be chosen for India's clash against West Indies. Tendulkar said -
“I would go for Bhuvi if he is fit, purely because of his ability to swing the ball. He can trouble the West Indies top-order with his swing”.
Yet, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar still on the sidelines courtesy of his injury, it is expected that Mohammad Shami will keep his place against West Indies.
India will take on the eighth-placed West Indies in Old Trafford in the former's sixth match of the competition and will be gunning for a win that can consolidate their chances of a spot in the last-four stages.
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