Mohammed Shami is the silent assassin of Indian cricket. He isn't your typical modern-day cricketer. On most days, he isn't anywhere near the news, but when he is, adjectives fall short to justify the beauty of his craft.
As a batsman, if you see Shami run in towards you in a simple, rhythmic, yet attacking way, you know you're in for a wild battle. On fast and bouncy pitches in Australia, Mohammed Shami, with his pace, ability to swing the ball both ways, and extract extra bounce will make him India's deadliest pacer,
But, the question is, in the current bowling set-up, who will Shami replace in the eleven. Let's strike down a few candidates first. Bumrah, being the leader of the attack, is out of the question. Chahal is the lone wrist-spin option, along with Jadeja's finger spin.
This leaves us with three players and two available spots. Shami, Bhuvneshwar, and Harshal Patel. This is where the real head-scratching will begin. Kumar is slowly getting back to his best. The recently concluded India vs South Africa series proved that. Bhuvi at his best is a world-beater. We have seen it in the IPL, and we have seen it at the international stage.
Harshal Patel has been in the form of his life. He hasn't just knocked on the door, he has banged the door down. RCB gave him a new lease of life in 2021, and the death-over specialist hasn't looked back since. The fact that the batsmen know he's going for a slower ball that'll dip in front of them, and their inability to counter it even then, is the testimony to his skills.
Jasprit Bumrah will need a partner at the top to open the attack with him. Harshal Patel is best used during the middle and death overs. Bhuvi has comparatively less pace than Shami. If the pitch doesn't offer a swing first up, batters will try and target him.
Shami can bowl at the death too, but given the recent form, Patel and Kumar are better. Will selectors take a bold call and not include Shami in the eleven? Will it be a direct toss-up between Kumar and Patel?