New Zealand won an all-important toss against India in the first semi-final of the 2019 World Cup and opted to bat first. They brought back their warhorse Lockie Ferguson at Tim Southee’s expense for the crunch game. India, however, took a brave call of not including Mohammed Shami in the playing XI who was ‘rested’ for the Sri Lanka clash. It has also left the Twitterati including some of the cricket experts baffled and the pacer’s exclusion is being questioned.
Mohammed Shami has been a wicket-taking option in the mega event for the Men in Blue. He came into the playing XI after Bhuvneshwar Kumar got injured and set the stage on fire straight away. The Bengal pacer stunned Afghanistan by picking a hat-trick against Afghanistan in a thrilling game and has so far picked 14 wickets in just four outings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, on the other hand, looked off-colour after returning from the injury and endured his worst game against Sri Lanka. Many thought Shami should return for the knockout but Virat Kohli has kept faith in Bhuvi and it remains to be seen if the move will pay off.
A probable reason for Shami not playing
Mohammed Shami has not been clinical in the death overs in the tournament so far and that might have played a role in his exclusion. He had conceded 44 runs in his last three overs against England and also failed to nail his yorkers in the next game against Bangladesh.
Bhuvi, on the flip side, has not conceded more than eight runs per over in the last 10 overs so far in this World Cup. Also, his ability to swing the new ball under grey skies might have prompted the Indian team management to go with the pacer ahead of Mohammed Shami.
Only time will tell now if the decision was good enough and if, India, unfortunately, go on to lose the semi-final, leaving out Shami could turn out to be a big issue.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) July 9, 2019
I can’t believe they haven’t picked Shami….pathetic selection #INDvNZ
— Abhishek (@Abhishe14381283) July 9, 2019
4-40 vs Afghanistan
4-16 vs West Indies
5-69 vs England
1-68 vs Bangladesh
— bet365 (@bet365) July 9, 2019
— Aditya (@PuneriSaiyan) July 9, 2019
— Ankisha (@I_Ankisha_) July 9, 2019
— Rishi Joshi (@joshirishi_) July 9, 2019
One good decision of including Jadeja is nullified by dropping shami. pic.twitter.com/d44fwY6Kxu
— 🇮🇳 Vishal Shah (@shahvishu79) July 9, 2019
I am not happy with the team selection. I think shami should get in in place of Bhuvi/chahal. https://t.co/6ciyg5gjwX
— Sushil kumar pandey (@Sushilk14009256) July 9, 2019
— Sahil Sharma (@SahilSh25343639) July 9, 2019
Worst team selection brother. Worst. Shami is out like really? Who took 14 wickets in last 4 matches. Abe Bhuvi Jab run dega to kya kroge pagalo? Are wo catch tak ni pakad pata yr #INDvNZ
— jiny (@jyosanachaunan) July 9, 2019
— Aadarsh Balakrishna (@AadarshBKrishna) July 9, 2019
Arre Bhai, Shami kidhar hai?? 🤯 https://t.co/TG8ZzqKHLZ
— arjun chugh (@arjun_chugh) July 9, 2019
— Right Arm Over (@RightArmOver_) July 9, 2019
Hattrick vale Shami ko kyo chupa rakha hai? 😒😒 https://t.co/svguD5PeBX
— Isha, that's okay🌸 (@Khanna2412) July 9, 2019
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