‘If I was the chief selector, I wouldn't have picked him’: Ex-India opener unhappy with 2 Asia Cup selections

Published on Aug 09, 2022 10:01 AM IST

Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he would have gone with Shami as the extra seamer in place of young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi if he was the chairman of the selection committee.

India bowler Axar Patel, center, celebrates with his teammates(AP)
India bowler Axar Patel, center, celebrates with his teammates(AP)

Former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth was surprised not to see pacer Mohammed Shami in India's Asia Cup 2022 squad. In the 15-member squad announced on Monday, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh are the designated fast bowlers with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the extra seam-bowling option. Shami's exclusion came in as a bit of a surprise as experienced pacer Jasprit Bumrah and T20I specialist Harshal Patel were not available due to injuries. This move from the selectors makes it more or less that Shami is not in India's T20 World Cup scheme of things which is about two months away from now.

Srikkanth said he would have gone with Shami as the extra seamer in place of young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi if he was the chairman of the selection committee.

“In my team, Shami was literally there. If I was the Chairman of the selection committee, I think Shami would have been there and probably, I would not have gone with Ravi Bishnoi. But I still believe that Axar Patel was a serious contender in my team. It would have been a big toss-up between Axar Patel and Ashwin,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports' show 'Follow the Blues'.

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Shami has not featured in a T20I ever since the last T20 World Cup but the right-arm pacer had a very good IPL with Gujarat Titans. He was instrumental in picking early wickets in the powerplay but his high economy rate at the backend of the innings may have gone against him.

Srikkanth, who was the chief selector when India won the ODI World Cup in 2011, said Axar Patel is another cricketer who perhaps was unlucky to miss out on an Asia Cup berth. The all-rounder, however, was named among three standby cricketers along with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar.

“I think the squad is pretty good but I think we would need one more medium pacer. We are going with one medium pacer short. Two wrist spinners is fine. I feel bad for Axar Patel, who has missed out. I am very happy for Deepak Hooda – he can bowl a bit, he’s a good hitter and he’s a good striker of the ball. What I like about Deepak Hooda is that he’s a good striker of the ball, he’s a flirter. Otherwise, this squad is a fantastic squad, only feel bad for Axar Patel. I still believe that he’s a good bowling all-rounder, maybe in Australia conditions. I am not going for just the Asia Cup, but yes, this must be a blue print for the ICC T20 World Cup also," Srikkanth said.

The Asia Cup 2022 will start on August 27 in Dubai. India will begin their title defence against Pakistan the next day in Dubai.

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