Mohammed Shami, the star Indian pacer, is set to miss the first two Tests against England in the upcoming five-match series. Shami, who hasn't played for India since November 19, 2023, due to an ankle injury, is yet to resume bowling. This setback comes after his impressive performance in the ODI World Cup 2023, where he picked up the highest number of wickets. Shami was initially selected for the two-match Test series against South Africa but was later withdrawn due to his injury.
Shami's Fitness Concerns
According to a report in the Indian Express, Shami is unlikely to be available for selection in the first two Tests against England, which are scheduled to start on January 25 in Hyderabad. The reason behind his absence is the fact that he hasn't resumed bowling since his ankle injury. Shami will have to prove his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) before he can be considered for a place in the team.
"Shami hasn't even started to bowl; he will have to go to NCA and prove his fitness. He looks doubtful for the first two Tests against England," a BCCI source revealed
Shami's absence will be a significant blow to India's bowling attack as he is a key player alongside Jasprit Bumrah in the red-ball format. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to announce the squad for the England Tests later this week, and it remains to be seen if Shami's name will be included.
Suryakumar Yadav's Injury Concerns
In another major development, Suryakumar Yadav, the world's number one T20I batter, is also facing injury concerns. Yadav is suffering from a hernia and requires surgery, which will keep him out of action for approximately eight to nine weeks. However, he is expected to make a full recovery in time for the IPL 2024.
"In Yadav's case, he will take more time than expected. After his hernia operation, it might take up to eight to nine weeks for him to start training. Hopefully, he will be fit during the IPL," the source stated
The BCCI is currently consulting specialists regarding Yadav's hernia, and there is a possibility that he may need to undergo surgery abroad. The exact details of his treatment and recovery plan are yet to be finalized.
Impact on India's Test Squad
Mohammed Shami's absence in the first two Tests against England will undoubtedly have an impact on India's Test squad. Shami's ability to generate pace and movement with the ball has been crucial to India's success in recent years. His absence will put additional pressure on the remaining pace bowlers, who will need to step up and fill the void left by the experienced campaigner.
On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav's absence will be felt in the middle order, especially in the T20 format. Yadav's aggressive batting style and ability to score quick runs have made him a valuable asset to the Indian team. His absence will require the team management to find a suitable replacement who can maintain the team's batting momentum.
The absence of Mohammed Shami and Suryakumar Yadav in the upcoming Test series against England is undoubtedly a setback for the Indian team. However, it also opens up opportunities for other players to showcase their skills and make a mark at the international level. The team management will need to make strategic decisions and select the best possible replacements to ensure the team's performance remains unaffected.
As fans eagerly await the announcement of the Indian squad for the England Tests, all eyes will be on the players who are given the chance to fill in the shoes of Shami and Yadav. The series promises to be an exciting contest between two top cricketing nations, and it will be interesting to see how India adapts to the absence of these key players.
While the absence of Mohammed Shami and Suryakumar Yadav is a blow to the Indian team, it presents an opportunity for others to rise to the occasion. The series against England will test India's depth and resilience, and it will be fascinating to witness the emergence of new heroes on the cricketing stage.