Indian pacer Mohammed Shami and Australian pacer Mitchell Starc are locking horns to break an 18-year-old record of Saqlain Mushtaq’s 100 wickets in 53 matches, which is the fastest in ODI cricket history.
Mohammed Shami, who is out of India’s tour of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka due to knee surgery, has been selected for the five-match ODI and three-match Twenty20 series against Australia starting on January 12.
Shami currently has 87 wickets in 46 ODIs while Mitchell Starc has 90 wickets off 46 matches. Shami will need 13 wickets during the five-match Australia tour. Starc needs only 10 wickets off 7 matches. But, the problem is that Starc has been ruled out for an indefinite time due to injury in the Day-Night Test at Adelaide Oval. If Shami manages to 13 wickets during the tour of Australia he will break Saqlain Mushtaq’s record against Sri Lankan in 1997.
If Shami fails to reach the mark during this series, then Starc will have greater chance to break the record of Saqlain Mushtaq, who took 100 wickets in 53 matches as India will play five-match ODI series against Australia in January in Australia starting from January 12.
Shami is returning in Indian national team after 11 months. He last played the World Cup semifinal against Australia at Sydney cricket Ground. He had been out of cricket due to a knee operation.
Shami will definitely have an edge over Starc to reach the mark. But, it will also have to see how the leading Indian bowler performs after coming back in the squad from injury.
If Shami fails to achieve the target in the next 15 ODIs, the next contender will be Imran Tahir of South Africa and Mitchell McClenaghan of New Zealand. Tahir has 84 wickets in 49 matches, needs 16 more scalps to reach the milestone in eight matches to better Saqlain. He has to produce remarkable performance during the England series at home. South Africa will play Test, T20, and ODI against England.
The last contender is McClenaghan, who needs 24 from nine matches to surpass Saqlain, but he has a great chance to break the 18-year-old record of Saqlain as New Zealand will play two back to back ODI series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Sri Lanka series will start on Boxing Day while the Pakistan series will start on January 15.
However, if the all four bowlers perform brilliantly the new record might not last long.