Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh wants India’s think tank to continue with Mohammed Shami even with Hardik Pandya coming back into the playing XI. Shami played his maiden World Cup 2023 match against New Zealand after Hardik Pandya was ruled out with an ankle injury.
The right-arm fast bowler returned with impressive figures of 5-54 in his quota of 10 overs, which is his best performance in the World Cups. Shami accounted for New Zealand opener Will Young with his first delivery.
Shami also got the big wicket of Rachin Ravindra to break the 159-run alliance with Daryl Mitchell. Towards the fag end, Shami got crucial wickets of Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry and centurion Daryl Mitchell to bundle out New Zealand at 273.
The Turbanator wants the team management to back Mohammed Shami in the upcoming matches and feels he should be given his chances.
Harbhajan Singh said on Star Sports, “He is a computer. He knows where to pitch the ball. He has done this job year after year. He is an extremely hard-working and proven player. I think about how can you keep him out.”
The former Indian spinner added: “If you have to keep a guy for two overs and a little batting, I feel it is not the right team. The team that played today was right. When Hardik Pandya comes back, he will bat at No. 6 but Shami should be at No. 8.”
India had backed Shardul Thakur in the last three matches and Harbhajan wants Shami to play in every match for his bowling impact.
“When you need batting at No. 8 and a little bowling, you are forced to sacrifice Mohammed Shami. I feel he should play in every match.”
The former off-spinner feels it is imperative that batters and bowlers do their respective jobs.
“A good team is one where the batters take the responsibility of batting and the bowlers take the responsibility of bowling. It will be an odd day where you would need someone to bowl one or two overs.”
India will next take on reigning champions England at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow on Sunday.