'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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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 India’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 Shami’s exclusion from the Indian playing XI vs Pakistan. Here are some of the posts:
Sanjay Manjrekar said, "Mohammad Shami would've been more threatening to Pakistan than Shardul Thakur. You talk about batting depth, but bowling depth matters too". pic.twitter.com/p9N3gBsHIU— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 2, 2023
Exclusion of Shami surprises me a lot..... Shardul inclusion is nothing but getting "bits and pieces" kind of in the XI which neither good for batting line-up nor bowling!— Prashant Jha (@pjha2000) September 2, 2023
Let's see how it goes....#INDvsPAK#AsiaCup2023
Shardul over Shami, India's obsession with Batting depth.. #INDvsPAK— RichGuy (@RichGuy2416) September 2, 2023
Mohd. Shami ke naye baal abhi tak set nahi hue kya? 🙄😏— Rahul (@anpadhCS) September 2, 2023
Everyone is questioning Shami's exclusion and rightly so. But let's hope those questions only remain questions for India's sake.#INDvsPAK— 𝙋𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙚𝙠 (@Prateekncmishra) September 2, 2023
Indian team again doesn't have good quality pace .... Shardul in place of shami dat too in such a high pressure game..wonder what d selectors were thinking... #INDvsPAK— Raj Kumar (@king_spades15) September 2, 2023
Pathetic decision to bat first. Gave an upper hand to the opposition already. Not playing Shami might be regretful #INDvsPAK— Sangeet Singh (@Sangeet151) September 2, 2023
No Shami in team, another blunder— Aditya rawat (@rawatAditya13) September 2, 2023
Mohd Shami should have played ahead mohd siraj #INDvsPAK— Sankar Lingam (@SankarL08976153) September 2, 2023