India speedster Mohammed Shami will bolster the Bengal pace attack in what promises to be an exciting Vijay Hazare Trophy final against Tamil Nadu in New Delhi on Monday.
Shami, who played one match for Bengal at the league stage has been declared fit to play the summit clash and has reportedly joined the team. "Yes, the good news is that Mohammed Shami is available for the final match. He has joined the Bengal squad in the evening today," a senior CAB official confirmed the development
The selection committee chairman MSK Prasad and his colleagues Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi (set to arrive tomorrow morning) will like to check Shami's fitness as they decide on the Deodhar Trophy teams as well as keeping IPL in mind.
Even Delhi Daredevils team officials will be keenly watching Shami's performance at the feroz Shah Kotla. Shami was a part of the team that won Hazare Trophy back in 2012 and his performance in that tournament brought him into national reckoning. The Bengal team wanted to keep Shami's presence under wraps as the Tamil Nadu team would not have apprehended that he would be available for the final match.
Shami in all probability will replace right-arm slinger Sayan Ghosh in the line-up. Both Bengal and Tamil Nadu have proved their mettle in the limited overs format having played back-to-back finals in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 editions. On both occasions, it was Tamil Nadu, who comfortably went past the finishing line with Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay scoring centuries.
It will be an occasion when Tiwary and his young boys can extract revenge against Vijay Shankar's team who are known to fire on big occasions.
On paper, Tamil Nadu may be slightly better side than Bengal on a man to man basis. Dinesh Karthik with 495 runs is a match-winner on his day.
A breezy 65-70 runs from Karthik can turn the match on its head. "Bengal are a fantastic side and I would not like to believe that Tamil Nadu are favourites tomorrow. The best part is that we have had players who have performed throughout the tournament," seasoned Karthik said.
"It would have been great had Abhi (Abhinav Mukund), (Murali) Vijay and (Ravichandran) Ashwin been there as they were a part of earlier triumphs. But they are on national duty so we knew won't get them. But one player we genuinely miss is T Natarajan for the variations that he can bring," Karthik said.