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Mohammad Shami the reason why India had no backup opener in Mohali

Mohammed Shami
India’s bowler Mohammed Shami attends a practice session. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A lot of people were surprised when Parthiv Patel opened the innings for India in Mohali Test. The reasons were speculated to be many. The actual reason though, was Mohammad Shami. It might sound startling to know that Shami was the reason why India had no backup opener in the squad for the third Test.

In a recent conversation, a BCCI official said that a seamer was added to the squad instead of an opener. India could have had another opener in the squad, but and injury threat to Mohammad Shami had prompted the selectors to go with an extra pacer. As per the news, Mohammad Shami had some stiffness in the hamstring ahead of the third Test against England.

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The selectors thus decided to add Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma in the squad instead of adding another opener. India have been playing only 2 seamers this series and thus the inclusion of 2 more seamers in the squad had raised eyebrows. The BCCI official remarked that having Bhuvneshwar in the lineup as an extra seamer was considered to aid to the conditions in the Mohali track.

“In Kolkata [against New Zealand], we saw a good green top. We had the luxury of playing an extra seamer there and it really paid off as Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] took a crucial five-wicket haul. That’s what we wanted to be ready for here as well,” the BCCI official quoted.

India eventually played with just 2 seamers, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, seeing the turning track at Mohali. Shami ended up picking up 5 wickets in the two innings at Mohali as India emerged victorious by 8 wickets.

Also, the absence of regular opener saw Parthiv Patel move to the opening slot. KL Rahul is still waiting to fully recover from his injury and so is wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. Parthiv Patel has been retained for the 4th Test against England at Mumbai.

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