In the first Warm-Up Match of T20 World Cup, West Indies to counter India today. 7:30 pm at the Eden Gardens. The match will be conspicuous with India fast bowler Mohammed Shami. India have a settled unit with all the batsmen among runs and youngsters Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya bowling well in tandem with veteran Ashish Nehra. On Thursday, though, the focus will be on Mohammad Shami, who was ruled out of the Asia Cup with a knee injury.
Team director Ravi Shastri made it amply clear that the pacer is very much in India’s scheme of things. “He will be playing tomorrow and we will have a look at how he goes,” he said on Wednesday.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni did say recently that it will be difficult to accommodate Shami in the playing XI, given the form of the quick bowlers. But the skipper and other members of the think tank will be wary of possible injury issues which could rule out any member of the regular playing XI any time. Thus, it will be a big boost for Team India if Shami is declared fit for the tournament. “He will have to prove his fitness and the physio is working with him,” Dhoni had said.
The West Indies squad did have a week-long camp in Dubai, but their two warm-up games in Kolkata. Most of the players in West Indies play T20 across the world in different leagues and have the potential to create a flutter if they can gel as a unit.
West Indies will face Aussies in a second warm up match March 13 before heading to Mumbai where they begin their World T20 campaign against England March 16.