Indian cricket team, facing a must-win situation in the fourth Test against Australia for reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, is considering to boost the pace attack. Mohammad Shami, who last played for India in Nvemeber, 2016, is in all likelihood in the mix for Dharamsala Test.
Indian team reached Dharamsala a day earlier than the Australian team to acclimatise and Shami is with the squad. India already have Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in their ranks.
A prominent reason the Indian team management is keen to include Shami is because Sunil Chauhan, curator at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, has indicated that the pitch will aid pacers. “It will behave as it has done naturally here. It will stay fast and bouncy.
Beautiful morning in dharamshala pic.twitter.com/sIlRXbbSlq— Mohammed Shami (@MdShami11) March 22, 2017
“Our pitch is one of the most difficult for the batsmen (facing fast bowlers) in the Ranji Trophy and its nature won’t be altered. Our preparation is the same and efforts are focused at providing a track that a five-day game needs, with something in it for everyone,” Chauhan was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Shami, who suffered a knee injury during the third Test against England, returned to competitive cricket on Monday when he bowled for Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final. He picked four wicket for 26.
After the Indian bowlers failed to break Australia’s resistance in Ranchi on the final day, skipper Virat Kohli had hinted that Shami could be in the scheme of things for the fourth Test. “We sent him (Shami) to play, wanted to give him match practice,” Kohli said after the Ranchi Test. “I’ve not spoken to selectors but all kinds of possibilities are there approaching the next Test.”
Pune witnessed a ‘poor’ wicket despite the curator Pandurang Salgaoncar claiming that the “ball will fly”. Bengaluru’s wicket was rated ‘below average’ while the wicket in Ranchi was a flat deck.
It remains to be seen how far the claims made by HPCA Stadium curator turn out to be true.