Mohammed Shami to play for Virat Kohli-led India in the 4th Test vs Australia?

Mohammed Shami has joined the Indian cricket team in Dharamsala, where Virat Kohli’s side plays Australia in the fourth Test. But will Shami, who has just recovered from a knee injury, play the final game?

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2017 16:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mohammed Shami,India vs Australia,Indian Cricket Team
Mohammed Shami, who has recovered from a knee injury, is in Dharamsala with the Indian squad, which will play the fourth Test against Australia.(PTI)

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.

Read | Mohammed Shami’s 4/26 in vain, Tamil Nadu beat Bengal in Vijay Hazare final

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.

“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.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 15:57 IST