The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 is set to begin in less than a week, however, Team India will begin its campaign when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, October 23, in Super 12. While India’s batting lineup has picked up form just ahead of the T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue were handed a major shock when star bowler Jasprit Bumrah picked up a long-term injury and was ruled out of the tournament.
In Bumrah’s absence, the likes of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj have been touted to be the replacement for the ace bowler in the World Cup. While both players have boarded flights to link up with the team in Australia, Siraj has been indicated as the replacement for the injured Deepak Chahar in the tournament by the BCCI. However, only one of them will be starting in the World Cup, so let’s take a look at how they compare against each other.
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Mohammed Siraj made his T20 debut against New Zealand on November 4, 2017, in Rajkot. Since then, he has represented India in only six T20I matches, registering a figure of 5/253 with an economy rate of 10.54. His best figure in these six matches is 1/22 and Siraj’s last T20I match came against South Africa in Indore on October 4, 2022, when he replaced Bumrah in the squad.
On the other hand, Shami made his T20I debut against Pakistan in Mirpur, Bangladesh, on March 21, 2014. The right-arm fast bowler has since played in 17 T20I matches for the country, claiming 18 wickets by conceding 568 runs, with an economy rate of 9.54.
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However, Shami’s last T20I was against Namibia in Dubai on November 8, 2021, in the T20 World Cup last year. It was at the same edition India was beaten by 10 wickets by arch-rivals Pakistan and Shami was also a part of that match.
It is impossible to point out whether India will be opting for a younger Nawaz in the T20 World Cup, or will keep their faith in Shami’s experience. However, match fitness must be one of the criteria in selections, and Shami’s record of not playing a T20I match in almost a year puts him at a major disadvantage.