In a setback for the Indian cricket team, pace spearhead Mohammed Shami will be notably absent from the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa, citing a left heel injury. Shami played a pivotal role in India’s 2021 Test victory at Centurion, making his absence a significant concern for the team. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Medical Team did not clear Shami for the series despite initial hopes that he might recover in time.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged the void left by Shami, stating, “What he (Mohammed Shami) has done for our team over the years, obviously it’s a big miss, but someone will come in place of him, try and fill in that role, and it will not be easy but we have confidence.”
Rohit Sharma hinted at possible replacements, suggesting that either Mukesh Kumar or Prasidh Krishna could step in for the injured pacer. He provided insights into their strengths, noting, “Prasidh (Krishna) extracts a lot of bounce due to his height, and Mukesh can swing the ball.”
The skipper also mentioned the team’s strategy, stating they were assessing the pitch to determine whether they needed someone to bowl up or back. Despite the challenges posed by Shami’s absence, Rohit Sharma expressed confidence in the team’s ability to cope and find suitable replacements.
About Bowling Dilemma:
On the other side, South Africa welcomed back their frontline pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, who hit the nets ahead of the ‘Boxing Day’ Test. Rabada, who was rested from the white-ball leg due to a heel niggle, returned to bolster the pace attack. Ngidi had pulled out earlier after sustaining a left ankle injury ahead of the T20Is.
South Africa’s head coach, Shukri Conrad, expressed confidence that India would face a formidable challenge against their pace attack. He referred to the upcoming series as the ‘Final Frontier,’ indicating the team’s determination to defend their home turf.
As the two cricketing giants prepare to face off in the Test arena, the absence of Shami adds an intriguing layer to the narrative. India will be looking to find a suitable replacement and maintain their dominance away from home, while South Africa aims to capitalize on their strengthened pace attack to secure victory in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test and the subsequent matches.