Though he was part of the previous T20 World Cup in 2021, veteran pacer Mohammad Shami might not make it into the Indian team squad for the upcoming edition of the ICC event in 2022 which will be played in Australia, as reportedly, he is no longer in BCCI selectors’ plans for T20I format.
The right-arm pacer from Bengal has played 17 T20Is, picking 18 wickets thus far with the best bowling figure of 3/15.
A first-choice bowler in ODIs and Tests, Shami has not played a single T20I since the 2021 T20 World Cup and as per reports, he has been informed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee that he’ll no longer be considered for T20Is.
The selectors, as per a report in InsideSport, plan to keep using him in the 50-over format as well as red-ball cricket, but in T20s, they want to put faith in younger players.
“Shami isn’t getting any younger and we need him fresh for Tests. That is why he is not being considered for T20s. We have had a chat with him post-T20 World Cup on his workload management. This is how it is going to be now. For now, he is not in plans for T20s and the focus will be on youngsters,” a member of the selection committee told the portal.
Shami’s case is similar to that of opener Shikhar Dhawan, who now plays only in the ODIs, having been out of contention for both T20Is and Test cricket. Dhawan last played a Test in 2018 against England at the Oval and his last T20I came against Sri Lanka in July last year.
Despite being phased out of the T20Is and Tests, Dhawan remains a vital member of the ODI setup and recently captained India on the tour of West Indies in the ODI series and will captain a second-string team on the ODI tour of Zimbabwe.
The idea behind such a decision also has a lot to do with the players' workload.
Since the last T20 World Cup, the report suggested that the BCCI selectors and the team management are focused on players' workload. Resting the all-format players at regular intervals has been identified as an important step to ensure the players remain fresh for big events.