Mohammed Shami is set to be ruled out of India’s upcoming T20I series against South Africa as he is reportedly yet to recover from COVID-19. Shami made his comeback in India’s T20 squad for the recently-concluded T20I series against Australia at home but had to miss out after he tested positive for the virus.
As per a report in PTI, he is yet to recover fully and Umesh Yadav will continue to keep his place in the squad in the upcoming three-match series against the Proteas. India will lock horns with Sri Lanka in a three-match rubber starting from Wednesday (September 28) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
As per the report, all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Deepak Hooda are also set to miss the T20I series against South Africa. While Hooda has been ruled out due to back spasms, Hardik is set to be rested having played continuous cricket since the IPL 2022 earlier this year.
Hooda will be replaced by middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer while all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed will take Hardik’s spot in the squad. Shahbaz had earlier received his maiden India call-up on India’s tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year as a replacement for injured Washington Sundar.
“Shami hasn’t recovered from his bout of COVID-19. He needs more time, and hence, will be out of the South Africa series. Umesh Yadav will continue as Shami’s replacement for the South Africa series,” a senior BCCI source was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“Is there any seam bowling all-rounder, who can replace Hardik? Raj Bawa is too raw and that’s why we kept him in India A for exposure. He will need time to blossom. Tell me another name,” he explained when asked about Shahbaz replacing Hardik in the squad.
India will be looking to field a strong team in the T20I series against the Proteas as they look to continue their preparations for the T20 World Cup 2022 starting next month. In the absence of Hooda and Hardik, the likes of Axar Patel and Rishabh Pant can also expect more opportunities in the South Africa series despite intense competition for spots in the team.(WION)