Mohammed Shami battled ankle discomfort throughout incredible World Cup campaign, doubtful for SA Tests: Report

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Mohammed Shami had emerged as a standout performer for Team India at the 2023 World Cup, finishing the tournament as its highest wicket-taker with a remarkable tally of 24 dismissals in just seven matches. What was more significant to Shami’s brilliant achievement was his initial absence from the first-choice playing XI; the right-armer sat out the initial four games for India. However, fate intervened when the dynamic all-rounder Hardik Pandya faced an injury during the match against Bangladesh, propelling Shami into action. The result? A record-breaking performance that etched Shami’s name as the country’s highest wicket-taker in the ODI tournament’s history.

India’s Mohammed Shami celebrates the dismissal of Australia’s David Warner during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final(AP)

But now, a revelation has surfaced that Shami, despite his stellar performance, reportedly battled through an ankle discomfort, particularly experiencing pain during the landing phase while bowling.

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According to Cricbuzz, Shami has been grappling with a lingering ankle niggle that had been there during the World Cup. Post the World Cup, Shami was rested from India’s T20I series against Australia, a move in line with the strategic rest for most players who participated in the 2023 World Cup.

Recently, the BCCI unveiled the squads for the highly anticipated tour of South Africa, featuring 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 2 Tests. While Shami’s name finds a place in the squad for the red-ball series, there is a crucial asterisk attached. The BCCI statement read, “Mr. Mohd. Shami is currently undergoing medical treatment, and his availability is subject to fitness.”

Shami has not been a part of Indian T20I team since the World Cup last year, but had enjoyed a brilliant 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League where he picked 28 wickets.

The Team India squad, under the leadership of Suryakumar Yadav in the shortest format, is set to embark fly for Durban via Dubai from Bengaluru in the wee hours of Wednesday. The Suryakumar-led Indian team had registered a 4-1 win over Australia in the recently-concluded T20I series.

Accompanying them on this journey will be head coach Rahul Dravid, along with the entire support staff. The cricketing action is set to kick off with the first T20I scheduled for December 10 at Kingsmead in Durban. KL Rahul will lead the side in ODIs before Rohit Sharma returns to action in the longest format of the game.

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