Shami’s name has been kept in the Test squad with a star mark and the BCCI media release stated that he “is currently undergoing medical treatment and his availability is subject to fitness.”
However, there was no specific information on the nature of the injury as to whether he suffered it on the field or more fitness related.
But it has been learnt that Shami was in Mumbai to consult a sports orthopaedic to diagnose his ankle condition.
“It is not exactly an on-field injury. It is an ankle condition that has developed. Shami came to Mumbai to consult the doctors. He will also go to NCA for rehab and recuperation work.
“The national selectors wouldn’t have selected him had there not been a chance of him getting fit in time for the Boxing Day Test,” a BCCI source, privy to the development, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Shami didn’t appear in the first four matches of the recent ODI World Cup due to the team composition requirements.
He got a chance to play in the fifth match after Hardik Pandya tore his left ankle ligament trying to stop a powerful shot on his follow-through in the match against Bangladesh.
Shami ended up getting 24 wickets in seven games and was one of the biggest reasons behind India’s sustained dominance for 10 straight games in the showpiece before losing the final to Australia.
“Shami, in fact, came to watch one of Bengal’s Vijay Hazare Trophy games as his younger brother Mohammed Kaif is also playing. He seemed to be walking with a slight limp,” a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) source said.
It will be interesting to note whether Shami would play the three-day intra-squad match between India Seniors and India A squads, which is a tune-up for the Tests.
It is also learnt for the time being, Shami won’t play white ball games as there are seven Test matches, including five against England at home and the ‘Amroha Express’ is expected to play a big role in the sub-continental conditions where the ball reverses a lot.
Whether Shami will play next year’s T20 World Cup will depend on how he fares in the Indian Premier League, where he has had two good seasons for the Gujarat Titans.
Easwaran to play 1st A Test
It was also learnt that Abhimanyu Easwaran has sustained four stitches on his right hand during a Vijay Hazare Trophy game but he will be fit to play the first four-day ‘Test’ between India A and South Africa A between December 11-14.
“Abhimanyu sustained a cut between the third and fourth finger. He had stitches and was advised a week’s rest. Hence by December 6, he should be good to go and if A ‘Test’ is on December 11, there is every chance he will play,” a CAB source informed.
IPL GC to wait for EC
The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council met on Thursday and decided that the schedule of 2024 edition could only be chalked out once the Election Commission of India (ECI) announces the date of next year’s general elections.
“Whether IPL will be held partially or fully in India will be decided once ECI announces the full schedule of the elections,” an IPL GC member informed.