Ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in October-November, Rohit Sharma-led Team India will square off against Australia in a three-match T20I series, beginning Tuesday in Mohali. It would be interesting to see whether the hosts persist with the experimentation that was on display in the Asia Cup, where the team failed to make it to the final. As India had named squads for T20 World Cup and the series against Australia and South Africa, the BCCI had announced “Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be reporting to the NCA for conditioning-related work during the course of the home series against Australia and South Africa.”
Arshdeep won’t play series against Australia while Hardik and Bhuvneshwar would not be available for series against South Africa. Ahead of the series between India and Australia, Gautam Gambhir and Matthew Hayden addressed a press conference organised by Star Sports Network, where they spoke about what to expect.
“If Shami starts performing really well, then there would be a lot of question marks for selectors on why he is not on the plane to Australia. And imagine if Arshdeep, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, or Harshal Patel, if one of these are having a bad day, then there would be more question marks. So, go with the guys who you have already picked irrespective of whether they are doing well or not. I know it is tough on Mohammed Shami, but it was anyway tough for him when he was not picked in the squad of 15 for the World Cup,” said Gambhir during the press conference.
“So, if you pick him in the XI ahead of any other guys who would be on the plane to Australia, it makes no sense to me. He should just be a backup if someone has a niggle or an injury and one of these guys are not available and you have to pick three fast bowlers. Otherwise, there is going to be a lot of criticism and I am sure selectors will not take that risk,” he added.
While answering an NDTV question on whether Shami should have been a part of India’s World Cup squad, Hayden said: “When you look at someone like Shami, has he got any extra surprises that Australian cricket don’t know about or haven’t seen before? Yes, he is a brilliant cricketer and he has the ability to take wickets. But is he going to be as good as someone like a Jasprit Bumrah? And I think it is too easy to think about the glass being half-full but you must back yourself.”
“That is one thing that is happening around the Australian cricket team regarding Aaron Finch. It is all about that squad, when you cross that line, thinking we have got this. This is our team, we are certain about it,” he added.
India vs Australia T20I will be available from 20th September to 25th September on the Star Sports Network.
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