'Tough for Shami not to be...': Rohit Sharma puts spotlight on India pacer before World Cup final vs Australia
Rohit Sharma reflected on Shami's sensational comeback in the lead-up to the ICC World Cup final between India and Australia.
On the cusp of rewriting history as the captain of the Indian cricket team, veteran opener Rohit Sharma reserved high praise for senior Mohammed Shami in the lead-up to the final of the ICC World Cup 2023 on Saturday. Champions in the 1983 and 2011 editions of the ICC World Cup, Rohit's Team India has a date with destiny as the World Cup hosts are aiming to end their long-standing trophy drought in ICC events.
Unbeaten in 10 games of the ICC World Cup, Rohit and Co. will meet Pat Cummins' Australia in the summit clash of the 50-over spectacle. Speaking to reporters on the eve of the summit clash in Ahmedabad, Rohit lauded pacer Shami for his sensational comeback in the Indian team at the One Day International (ODI) World Cup. An unfortunate injury to all-rounder Hardik Pandya paved the way for pacer Shami to be a part of India's world-class fast-bowling lineup at the World Cup.
'Shami was there to help Siraj'
"It was tough for Mohammed Shami not to be part of the World Cup initially. He was there to help Mohammed Siraj, and it shows his quality. We told him why he wasn't part of it and he worked in nets. The results are showing and say a lot about him," Rohit told reporters.
Shami's sensational run at ODI World Cup
Since replacing Pandya in India's bowling lineup, pacer Shami has become undroppable for the World Cup hosts. The senior fast bowler recorded magical figures of 7 for 57 to help India upstage New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals. The first-ever Indian bowler to take a seven-wicket haul in a World Cup knockout game, Shami is also the leading wicket-taker for the Asian giants in the history of the 50-over spectacle. Shami has picked up 54 wickets in just 17 matches at the ODI World Cup. He is also the fastest bowler to bag 50 wickets in the ODI World Cup.
Rohit on India's XI at World Cup final
During the traditional press conference, Rohit also revealed that Team India is yet to finalise their playing XI for the showdown clash with Australia. In the rematch of the 2003 summit clash, India are set to lock horns with the five-time champions at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. "We haven't decided anything. All 15 can play. Opportunity is there for everyone, and we will assess the pitch tomorrow, and 12 to 13 are ready to play. We haven't decided on 11. I want every player to be ready," Rohit added.