Mohammed Shami likely to miss South Africa Tests

Mohammed Shami

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami, the standout performer of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, is grappling with a troublesome ankle injury. There is now a genuine concern that Shami might miss the two-match Test matches against the Proteas. The series is set to kick off at SuperSport Park, Centurion, from December 26. His absence could significantly impact India’s prospects in the series.

Meanwhile, the final batch, including skipper Rohit Sharma, is scheduled to depart on Friday (December 15). While Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, and Harshit Rana gear up for the journey, Shami won’t be joining the rest of the Indian squad as per Cricbuzz. The selectors have not announced a replacement for the 33-year-old pacer yet. Thus, leaving the door open for a potential reshuffle among the existing pacers already in South Africa, playong in the white-ball series.

Shami’s inclusion in the Test series was conditional

Mohammed Shami’s inclusion in the Test series was always conditional. The BCCI also made it clear during the squad announcement on November 30 that Shami was undergoing medical treatment. The official statement from the BCCI read, “Mr. Mohd. Shami is currently undergoing medical treatment, and his availability is subject to fitness.”

The experienced pacer has been grappling with ankle pain, a discomfort he carried throughout the World Cup. Despite the adversity, Shami played a crucial role in the tournament, landing on his right foot at the delivery point with noticeable unease. Shami’s performance was outstanding in the marquee event. He emerged as the best bowler of the tournament with 24 wickets in just seven matches to his name.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the Indian team adapt to the absence of Shami on South African soil. The visitors have injury issues of their own, with Anrich Nortje down with a lumbar stress fracture and Lungi Ngidi recovering from an ankle sprain. Furthermore, premier pacer Kagiso Rabada’s participation in the series is also under doubt due to fitness reasons.