'Kachra bhi Khelega' - Fans rip apart team management for dropping Mohammed Shami during Asia Cup encounter vs Pakistan

Mohammed Shami was dropped to make way for Shardul Thakur during India vs Pakistan Match 3 of Asia Cup 2023.

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Mohammed Shami
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Mohammed Shami. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The much-awaited India vs Pakistan encounter got underway in Asia Cup 2023 on Saturday, September 02 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first. The Men in Blue went in with four seam options but left star seamer Mohammed Shami out of the playing XI.

The 32-year-old had been the leader of Indiaโ€™s pace attack in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah from 2022 onwards. Shami has scalped 14 wickets since 2022 and has been phenomenal with the new ball. However, the team management went for the seam all-rounder Shardul Thakur in his place to have an extra batting option down the order.

Thakur has been a proven match-winner for India in the past few years across all three formats. He finished as the highest wicket-taker of the recent three-match ODI series against West Indies having scalped eight wickets from three games at an average of 11.62 and an economy of 5.31.

The 31-year-old has scalped 14 wickets from eight games in 2023 at an average of 16.42 and an economy of 5.92. Apart from Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Hardik Pandya made up the seam attack while Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja filled in two spots for spin.

Rain interrupts play after four overs

The batting lineup consisted of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer with Ishan Kishan being the wicketkeeping option. Openers Sharma and Gill got their team off to a steady start as they weathered the storm of some exceptional swing bowling display by Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi. Shah in particular was breathing fire as he gave just three runs from two overs.

The duo added 15 runs from 4.2 overs before rain interrupted the game. Sharma was unbeaten on 11* (18) while Gill was yet to get off the mark having faced eight deliveries.

Meanwhile, X was abuzz with reactions on Mohammed Shamiโ€™s exclusion from the Indian playing XI vs Pakistan. Here are some of the posts:

 

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