Mohammed Shami has been ruled out for the rest of the Test series against Australia with a fractured arm at the Adelaide Oval. This news was confirmed just the day after the shocking defeat of India by the Aussies at the 1st Test.
Shami was struck on the right arm, just under the elbow, by a high delivery by Pat Cummins on Saturday, December 19 at the Adelaide Oval, during the batting in the evening in India’s mismanaged second innings. He was immediately attended by the Indian medical staff. Later on, the fast bowler tried to resume his innings but didn’t seem to even be able to lift his arm while holding the bat.
Shami didn’t even come on to the field during Australia’s second innings and after the match end, he wasn’t spotted at the field for the post-match handshake but later, he was spotted with a sling on his arm leaving the stadium.
At the post-match presentation, India skipper Virat Kohli said Shami was in “pain” and could not even raise his bowling hand. As feared, those scans have revealed a fracture that Shami will not be able to recover from while he’s in Australia.
But the fast bowler from Bengal had gone wicketless in Australia’s first innings. But has shown an impressive performance with great rhythm and intensity, creating a number of chances with the bat and the ball too.
While Shami’s absence means the Indian fast bowling attack is now left with only Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav which might trouble the Men In Blue along with Virat Kohli’s absence who is about to leave for the birth of his child.
Now the question arises, who should replace Shami?
BCCI is yet to make the announcement of Shami’s replacement but India are now left with two options in the squad, Navdeep Saini and Mohammad Siraj. Another option India still have is that of choosing one from the trio of Kartik Tyagi, who travelled to Australia as an additional bowler, T. Natarajan and Shardul Thakur, who were rested for the Test series and joined Tyagi as net bowlers.
Even in an interview, India legend Sunil Gavaskar said, “It (Shami injury) is a big problem. he has the knack of taking wickets, he can shock the opposition with his bouncers and yorkers. If he is not playing, then it’s going to be trouble for India”.
“If Ishant Sharma is fit, I am suggesting to send him to Australia now. If he is capable of bowling 20 overs in a day, the management should send him to Australia on tomorrow’s flight so that he can be ready for the Sydney Test,” he said.
“I am saying India should look at taking a chance because there is no proper back-up now. Navdeep Saini has the potential to pick wickets but the way he bowled in the warm-up matches, it doesn’t look like he will be able to trouble the Australia batsmen,” he further added.
Both the teams will face each other on 26 December for the second test at MGC.