14 wickets in four games, but still no place in the World Cup semifinals? That was the question on netizens’ mind as many of them conveyed their displeasure over Mohammed Shami being benched for the crucial encounter against New Zealand on Tuesday. As soon as the playing XI was announced, the pacer’s name immediately started trending as Twitterati questioned the team management’s selection, and some even created memes for it. The speedster’s coach Badruddin Siddique was equally ‘stunned’ to see his missing from the starting XI. The coach wondered what a fast bowler needs to do more to deserve a chance to play.
As per reports, in an interview with a news agency, Siddique stated that he was ‘stunned’ with Shami’s omission from the team for the encounter. He then asked how a bowler who picked up 14 wickets in four games could be dropped. The coach then questioned what more could be expected from a fast bowler and asserted that the 29-year-old has proved himself by winning games.
After four, four and five wickets respectively in the matches against Afghanistan, West Indies, England, Shami had an off-day against Bangladesh where he went for 68 runs in 9 overs at an economy rate of 7.55 and picked up one wicket.
That could’ve been why he was dropped from the match against Sri Lanka when India decided to go in with two spinners.
Siddique felt that Shami was rested for the SL game so that he remains fresh for the semifinal. However, he now thinks that his assessment was ‘wrong.’
The coach also dismissed that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s superior batting skills played a part in the team’s decision. Siddique said that banking on tailenders to win the games was not the right strategy since the top 6 batsmen should be accomplishing the target on their own.
Siddique also said he wasn’t aware of any injury that Shami might have picked up since the last time they spoke. The coach stated that the rhythm with which the bowler was charging in for his spell was enough evidence about his fitness.
Nevertheless, Kumar did a good job with the new ball alongside Jasprit Bumrah and even at the death. His figures were 1/30 in 8.1 overs when the rains interrupted the match with New Zealand at 211/5 in 46.1 overs.