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ICC T20 World Cup 2022, IND vs PAK: Why did India opt for Shami over Harshal? Kumble explains

India is giving a hard time to Pakistan in the Super 12 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Melbourne on Sunday. While the Indians opted for Mohammed Shami over Harshal Patel in the XI, Anil Kumble has explained why.

ICC T20 World Cup 2022, IND vs PAK: Why did India opt for Mohammed Shami over Harshal Patel against Pakistan? Anil Kumble explains-ayh
First Published Oct 23, 2022, 3:23 PM IST

It is turning out to be another engaging contest between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in their Super 12 opener of the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup at the sold-out Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. While the Indian bowlers have done a commendable job so far, it was notable that for the pace option, they went in for senior seamer Mohammed Shami instead of pacer Harshal Patel. While the spot has always been up for debate, the former generally had the upper hand in getting the final nod in the playing XI. In the meantime, legendary Indian spinner and former head coach Anil Kumble has explained the reason for the decision.

Interacting with ESPNCricinfo, Kumble described, "I think most importantly, the reason that Shami is ahead of Harshal Patel is to get wickets upfront. That's what Rohit will be hoping for. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, get a couple of wickets early on." Harshal has struggled with his bowling form since returning from his injury a month ago.


Shami returned to the format after a year while he recently recovered from COVID. In contrast, he was impactful in the only over he bowled during the warm-up match India played against Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane. Another notable observation was that veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin was picked ahead of impactful Twenty20 (T20) leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Kumble defined, "If you look at Harshal not being part of the team, then the batting would have stopped at No.7 with Chahal in. India thought we needed a deep batting order because the way they have gone about constructing their T20 innings now with the batting has been a bit more positive, a bit more intent, and if you have to have that approach, you need to have the longer batting order. So, that's one of the reasons why they have gone with Ashwin. And experience as well. At the death, Arshdeep two, Bhuvi one and Shami one, those will be your last four overs."

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