Even if Mohammed Shami is declared fit for the ICC World T20, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that it will be difficult for the Bengal speedster to either replace Jasprit Bumrah or Ashish Nehra in the playing as the team presently looks “very balanced”.
“We still don’t know whether Shami will be fit or not. He still has a bit of time and he was picked because of his potential. He is someone who can bowl with new and old ball with yorkers being his strength. But it will be difficult to replace Bumrah as he has contributed very well with the new ball,” Dhoni said at the post-match press conference after winning the Asia Cup T20 title last night.
“Hardik Pandya is a seaming all-rounder. If Jadeja or him (Hardik) can bat No 8 and they can give me three or four overs, then it looks like a better balanced side. Shami can only come in Ashish’s slot but he would be very tough to replace. The reason being he’s done very well for us, he’s moved the ball around.”
But Dhoni feels that Shami will have to prove his fitness first in the two warm-up games.
“But again Shami has a bit of time. He will have to prove his fitness in the warm-up games. If he does, he will stay ahead with the team. If he’s unfit or he’s not able to deliver the way he has to then he will have to make way for somebody else,” he said.
He praised Shikhar Dhawan for pacing his innings well.