Virat Kohli has hinted at Mohammed Shami’s comeback for fourth and the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Dharamsala, starting March 25.
Shami, who has been out of international action since December 2016 owing to a knee injury, returned to domestic circuit for the Vijay Hazare Trophy – Group game against Gujarat. However, the speedster didn’t perform well as he finished with the figures of 0/36 in seven overs. In the recently concluded final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Shami was at his full throttle as he grabbed four scalps but couldn’t help Bengal escape a 37-run defeat at the hands of Tamil Nadu, led by Dinesh Karthik’s well-compiled 112 off 120 balls.
With an all-important game at Dharamsala, India would hope to get Shami’s services, so as to finish their long home season on a high.
Speaking at the post-match conference of the Ranchi Test, Kohli said:
“WE SENT HIM (SHAMI) TO PLAY VIJAY HAZARE TROPHY BECAUSE HE WAS BOWLING 10-12 OVERS IN A GO. WANTED TO GIVE HIM SOME MATCH PRACTICE.
“I HAVEN’T SPOKEN WITH THE SELECTORS YET (ABOUT SHAMI’S SELECTION). ALL KINDS OF POSSIBILITIES APPROACHING THE NEXT TEST AT DHARAMSALA,” KOHLI SAID.
Since the ICC World Cup 2015, Mohammed Shami has been in and out of the Indian team. After missing most of international cricket the same year, he returned to the side for the limited-overs series against Australia in January 2016 but was ruled out even before the start of the series because of a hamstring injury. Shami was in the squad for the 2016 ICC World T20 but didn’t get to play a single match.
However, he marked his return in the 2016 Indian Premier League for Delhi Daredevils but with below par performance (five wickets in 8 matches at an economy rate of 9.69), things seemed bleak for the Bengal lad.
After being left out of the Zimbabwe tour, Shami was included in the Test squad for the away series against the West Indies, where he emerged as the second highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets in four games.
Against both New Zealand and England, Shami took a total of 18 wickets combined in six Tests before getting injured. He is yet to feature in an ODI since 2015 and with Champions Trophy just a couple of months away, Shami would look to get some white-ball practice in the upcoming edition of the IPL, that commences April 5.