When the Indian squad for Asia Cup was announced, experts and fans were shocked to see Mohammed Shami miss out on the team. Aakash Chopra, K Shrikant, Kiran More, and Saba Karim are just a few names who have criticized the selectors for ignoring Mohammed Shami in the Asia Cup squad.
Earlier reports had indicated that selectors are looking beyond Shami in the shortest format and want to preserve him for Tests and ODIs. But Mohammed Shami played a crucial role for Gujarat Titans in the IPL and helped them lift the title in their debut year. And hence his omission was considered shocking by most.
But not for Australia legend Ricky Ponting, who gave a rather blunt response on Shami’s future in the format and the possibility of a return for the T20 World Cup later in October.
Mohammed Shami thrives in Tests but there are better bowlers than him in T20s: Ricky Ponting
Speaking to Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review, Ponting opined that while Shami has been an impressive bowler for India in the Test format, the squad has a better pool of talent to choose from when it comes to T20 cricket.
“He’s been a very, very good bowler for India for a long time now. If you look at his strengths, his Test cricket is probably where he thrives the most,” Ponting said.
“I think there are better fast bowlers in Indian T20 cricket than Shami and they’ve only named three (for the Asia Cup). So if there are potentially four named in the squad he might be the fourth man in.
While Shami’s omission from the Asia Cup tournament could be a sign that India might want to take the pacer for the T20 World Cup as well with injured Jasprit Bumrah being the only addition, Ponting feels that probably the management might squeeze in Shami for Australian conditions.
“I would think they’ll probably only have the four quicks coming to Australia. They’ll still want to bring a lot of spins here even though the wickets are probably not that conducive,” he explained.
Shami last played for India in the T20I format against Namibia last November in the T20 World Cup in the UAE. India has since auditioned 11 fast bowlers with Bhuvneshwar Kumar making the most appearances but Shami was recalled for none.
• Ricky Ponting gives a blunt opinion on Shami’s chances in the T20s.
• Ponting feels there are better bowlers than Mohammed Shami in the T20s.