Team India fast bowler Mohammad Shami, who was set to make a comeback into the T20I set up with the upcoming three-match series against Australia, has been ruled out entirely after being tested Covid-19 positive on Saturday.
Shami has been out of action since July 2022 and didn’t play a single T20I since the last year’s World Cup in UAE.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed the news via press release on Sunday, and named Umesh Yadav as Shami’s replacement.
Yadav returns to India’s T20I setup after a gap of more than three years, having last played the shortest format in February 2019 against Australia. More recently, he was the leading wicket-taker for Middlesex in the Royal London Cup with 16 wickets from seven games. His stint was cut short due to a quad injury but he is now in line to play his first T20I for India in more than three years.
“Fast bowler Mohd. Shami will not be able to take part in the upcoming three-day Mastercard T20I series against Australia after testing positive for COVID-19. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Umesh Yadav as his replacement,” the BCCI official said in a press release.
Skipper Rohit Sharma also shared his thoughts regarding Yadav replacing Shami for Australia T20Is.
“There were few options, but few of them are injured like Prasidh. Siraj is playing county, we do not want him to fly all the way, maybe play one or two games. That won’t be fair. Obviously, Shami unfortunate incident with him. Avesh was quite sick in the Asia Cup and he needs some time to recover. From fitness point of view, he needed some time and rebuild his fitness. All those things were considered. Guys like Umesh, Shami, who have been bowling for a long time, they do not need to be playing a format to be considered,” said Rohit.
“They have proven themselves as players in whichever format they have played. We understand the quality, it is the new guys on whom it will depend whether they have played this format or not. But guys like Umesh and Shami, if they are fit and fine, they will be called back. We don’t need to look at their form, we saw how Umesh bowled in the IPL,” he added further.
The T20I series begins on September 20 in Mohali before the action shifts to Nagpur on September 23. The final T20I will be played in Hyderabad on September 25.