Clearing the air over the inclusion of Mohammed Shami or Kumar, bowling coach Bharath Arun made it clear that if the latter is deemed fully match-fit, he will replace Shami despite his last-over hattrick against Afghanistan.
Ahead of India’s clash with West Indies in World Cup league match phase, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar seemed to have regained full fitness as he bowled for a considerable time from full run-up with the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad wearing the wicketkeeping gloves during practice session on Wednesday. Kumar had sustained an injury during India’s victory with Pakistan. Team physio Patrick Farhart and bowling coach Bharath Arun too watched the seamer practice.
Clearing the air over the inclusion of Mohammed Shami or Kumar, Arun made it clear that if the latter is deemed fully match-fit, he will replace Shami despite his last-over hattrick against Afghanistan. On the other hand, there is still a possibility that the team management will give him rest for India vs West Indies World Cup match.
“Bhuvneshwar’s injury is not of any great concern. It is just a niggle for which we didn’t want to take a chance. And it was also an opportunity for us to plug Shami into the games. But the fact he’s done exceptionally well all goes well for us; it’s an embarrassment of riches. And we would take a call as per the conditions, but Bhuvi has done exceptionally well, so I think it’s a pretty good headache to have,” Arun said.
Later, Prasad collected powerful throws from the deep as the reserve keeper Rishabh Pant practiced outfielding and took a few aerial catches. During team selection for the marquee event, the team management has given preference to Vijay Shankar over Pant. The selectors have not shown any intention of changing it. Vijay Shankar batted at the hotly–debated No. 4 position for the first time in his ODI career in India’s match against Afghanistan.
A middle-order batsman, Vijay Shankar remained not out on 15 and took two crucial wickets in India’s match against Pakistan. He scored 29 runs in India’s encounter against Afghanistan last week.