‘Difficult to drop Shami’: Wasim Akram counsels India about Pandya return | Crickit

Wasim Akram counsels Dravid and Co. about Pandya return before IND vs ENG WC tie: ‘Difficult to drop Shami’

By, New Delhi
Oct 25, 2023 06:18 AM IST

Wasim Akram feels India will find it difficult to keep Mohammed Shami on the bench. Shami replaced Hardik Pandya in India’s WC fixture vs New Zealand.

Lamb and Lewis in two balls - Wasim Akram's late exploits famously powered Pakistan to a monumental win over England in the final of the ICC World Cup 1992. Back when Graham Gooch's England were chasing its maiden World Cup trophy, Pakistan captain Imran Khan handed the ball to Akram aka the Sultan of Swing in the 34th over. Akram first got the better of Allan Lamb. The fast-bowling icon then outsmarted Chris Lewis with an absolute peach.

Akram claimed that India's World Cup squad looks good even without Pandya(Getty Images-PTI-Reuters)
Akram claimed that India's World Cup squad looks good even without Pandya(Getty Images-PTI-Reuters)

Akram's two magical deliveries in his game-changing spell paved the way for Pakistan to seal its first-ever world title. Clearly, Akram knows a few things to tackle England at the grandest stage of them all - the ICC World Cup. With Rohit Sharma's Team India set to meet defending champions England in the ODI World Cup on Sunday, former Pakistan skipper Akram is convinced that pacer Mohammed Shami has become somewhat undroppable following his bowling masterclass against New Zealand.

ALSO READ: 'India are favourites but...': Wasim Akram sends out warning to Rohit and Co. for England clash at World Cup

Replacing an injured Hardik Pandya in India's playing XI, pace ace Shami ran riot against the Black Caps as the speedster bagged a historic five-wicket haul. Shami's bowling exploits ended India's 20-year winless run against New Zealand in ICC events. Talking about India's squad ahead of the upcoming clash with England, Akram claimed that the World Cup roster of the Men In Blue looks good even without Rohit's deputy.

'India's squad looks good even without Pandya'

"This squad looks good even without Pandya. If he is fit then well and good. It will be difficult to drop Shami now. I feel India shouldn't risk Pandya (against England) because if it's an injury to a hamstring or quad, then although you feel good initially, you could pull a muscle in the match. So let him recover 100 percent and then you can play him," Akram told Sportskeeda.

'When Shami's ball hits the seam…'

Shami upstaged Virat Kohli's brilliant 95-run knock with his fifer to win the Player of the Match award against New Zealand. Playing his first World Cup 2023 match on Sunday, Shami opened his account on the very first ball of his ICC campaign. The veteran pacer also became the first bowler to take two five-wicket hauls in World Cups for India. "Credit to the team management that whenever any player in the squad comes into the XI, he seems ready. When Shami's ball hits the seam, it can deviate either way. That's why I think Shami for me was the player of the match," Akram added.

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