World Cup 2019: Sourav Ganguly backs Mohammed Shami to open India’s bowling along with Jasprit Bumrah

According to the former skipper, Saurav Ganguly Mohammed Shami should play for second fiddle while he backs Hardik Pandya to complete the pace trio.

Mohammed Shami, India, BCCI, Arjuna Award
Mohammed Shami. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India played their first warm-up game ahead of ICC World Cup 2019 at the Kennington Oval in London on Saturday against New Zealand and it was a disastrous start. The much-vaunted Indian batting line-up had slumped to 91 for 7 before a brisk fifty from Ravindra Jadeja took them past 150. Team India’s concerned over their No.4 batting position remained as KL Rahul managed just six from 10 balls in the game against the Black Caps.

However, even as India continues to find a solution to their No.4 puzzle, another dilemma has struck the camp led by Virat Kohli. And it is about India’s bowling.


There is no doubt that the current Indian pace attack is the best the team has seen in the World Cup over the years but the question now lies over choosing the partners. Mohammed Shami has been one of India’s key performers in recent times – both in Tests and ODIs but in the seaming conditions in England, he could face a challenge from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The latter though hasn’t played regularly for India of late because of injury but he could be Kohli’s trump card in the English conditions and hence there is an opinion that backs him to be the opening bowler alongside Jasprit Bumrah.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly shared his thought on the debate on India TV’s cricket show ‘Cricket Ki Baat’ in which he threw his weight behind Shami citing his recent performances, both for India as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. Shami played for Delhi Capitals in the IPL of which Ganguly was an advisor.

Ganguly backs Shami for his recent form

“I’ll play Mohammad Shami. He has not only been good in the IPL but has been brilliant throughout the year for India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had a dip in form over the last 4-5 months. I’m a fan of Bhuvi but it’s all about temperament and attitude. I believe he will come back stronger,” Ganguly was quoted as saying.

Ganguly even went to the extent of picking ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya to complete the pace trio alongside Bumrah and Shami. He said that would have been his plan at least in the initial stage of the tournament starting May 30.

The former captain who had led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup in which India had banked on the pace trio of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, said Shami will compliment Bumrah better than Bhuvneshwar.