T20 World Cup: Tom Moody backs ‘big player’ Mohammed Shami in match against Pakistan | Cricket News


MELBOURNE: Mohammed Shami can be short on game time leading to the T20 World Cup but former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody feels he is a big player and his expertise will be crucial in India’s high-tension opener against Pakistan on Sunday.
Shami, who was suffering from Covid-19, was a late inclusion in the team after India’s pace spearheaded Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out indefinitely following the recurrence of his back strain.

The veteran pacer was pressed into action in the last over of their warm-up match against Australia at the Gabba on October 17 when he picked up 3 for 4 to give India a six-run win.
“He (Shami) might be short on a bit of volume in his bowling but that one over he bowled against Australia would have gone a long way not so much on the physical side of things but certainly the mental side of things,” Moody said on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’.
With Covid-19, Shami was unable to participate in India’s build-up home series against Australia and flew straight to Brisbane after being selected on 14 October.


Shami last played a T20I in 2021 during the T20 World Cup in the UAE-Oman, while his last international appearance was in an ODI in the England series in July this year.
However, the 57-year-old Aussie was firm in his support of Shami and said he would make a formidable past trio with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh.

“I’ll go with Shami. I’ll just go with his experience. Obviously Bhuvi and Arshdeep are the first two. I just think that in big tournaments you back big players. And he’s a big player with a lot of experience.”
Pakistan superstar pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who defied Indian top order en route to leading the team to a 10-wicket win in the last T20 World Cup, will be back in action after recovering from injury.
But it will be a different venue and the conditions will also be different at the MCG and Moody advised the Indian batsmen to be alert and not conservative.

“I think it’s an intriguing contest because for me India is a strong batting team while Pakistan, I think, is a strong bowling team.
“So, for me it’s a real contest of how well India bat against a very strong new ball attack. If they get through that, I see India controlling the game,” Moody, who coached Sri Lanka to the ODI World Cup final in 2007, said.
“But that’s where they have to manage — in the first six overs. Now, we know his T20, we know his Power Play, we also know that if we want to get on a flyer, we have to manage it carefully. So, I’m not saying you should be conservative, you should be vigilant.”
The veteran coach also said both teams will need to be tactfully aware of playing at the MCG.
“Another thing to consider is the large boundaries. Yes, there will be huge boundaries at the MCG, we know that.
“It’s a big venue, so the short ball and using that length, hard length, with that change of pace to that length, is the key to bowling at the MCG.
“So, I’m sure both teams are very aware of what the tactical play is with the ball in those top overs and especially in those defensive overs.”


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