Mohammed Shami remains a doubtful starter for IND vs SA Test series. The pacer who had an excellent run in the Cricket World Cup with 24 wickets in 11 matches developed an ankle problem. The Ajit Agarkar-led BCCI Selection Committee did name Shami in the squad for India vs South Africa Test series starting December 26. He is also expected to play in the intra-squad match starting Dec 20.
However, BCCI put an asterisk behind Mohammed Shami’s name as he will need to prove his fitness before flying to South Africa. InsideSport has learnt that Shami travel to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) next week and undergo a fitness evaluation. Only if he clears the tests, he will be in the India Cricket Team.
“Shami will report to the NCA for an injury assessment before travelling to South Africa. It’s quite normal for pacers and all-rounders before travelling on away tours. His condition is not very serious and he is managing it,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport on Monday.
Mohammed Shami consulted a sports orthopaedic in Mumbai to diagnose his condition as per PTI.
“The national selectors wouldn’t have selected him had there not been a chance of him getting fit in time for the Boxing Day Test,” PTI quoted a BCCI source on Shami’s condition.
However, with the crucial five-match Test series coming up against England in late January, selectors won’t take any risk. He will only travel if he is 100% fit to play.
Of the World Cup pace battery, only Mohammed Siraj is part of the white-ball squad as he will play the T20Is. As for Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, both are rested from the T20I and ODI series. They will also report to the NCA after their break before travelling to South Africa for the Test series.
India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohd. Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna.