ODI World Cup 2023: Shami's strategic sit-out theory; An analysis of role assignments in the Indian team
Delve into the intricacies of the Indian cricket team's World Cup strategy as we explore why Mohammed Shami finds himself on the bench during critical matches.
In director Rohit Sharma's expansive World Cup spectacle, Mohammed Shami finds himself without a substantial role, akin to a talented actor not fitting a character in a specific film. Unlike the 2019 World Cup campaign, the Indian team management seems resolute in assigning distinct roles to each squad member, resulting in the benching of the world-class operator, Shami, for the initial three games of the ODI showcase.
With the team meeting expectations across the board, Shami, a top-tier performer, might have to bide his time on the sidelines for the upcoming fixtures, despite his impressive five-wicket haul against Australia before the World Cup. The team's seam attack is led by Jasprit Bumrah's new ball partner, Mohammed Siraj, complemented effectively by all-rounder Hardik Pandya, assuming the role of a third pacer.
Shardul Thakur serves as the fourth fast bowling option, adjusted based on the pitch conditions. The batting order has also been streamlined, with Shreyas Iyer being the clear choice for the number four position, and Suryakumar Yadav waiting for an opportunity. While India, under Rohit Sharma's leadership, is a strong contender in the World Cup, questions linger regarding the reliance on Hardik Pandya as the third seamer and whether Shami should replace Thakur, given the latter's lack of batting opportunities.
Former chief selector MSK Prasad commends the team's strategic approach, utilizing players based on specific conditions, and highlights potential replacements and their roles. Despite Shami's current absence from the ideal playing XI, he may be given an opportunity in the later stages of the league phase, considering the team's consistent workload management and the length of the tournament.