Senior Indian pacer Mohammed Shami‘s comeback to the T20 squad has been further delayed as he hasn’t fully recovered from the COVID-19. Notably, Shami was ruled out of the recently-finished T20I series against Australia due to the same reason. According to a report in Cricbuzz, Shami might also miss the upcoming battle of the shortest format against South Africa, which is set to begin on Wednesday (September 28).

Shami has not travelled to Thiruvananthapuram, the venue for the three-match series opener against the Proteas, where the Indian team reached on Monday. Speedster Umesh Yadav, who was recently announced as a replacement for Shami, has travelled with the side, which also suggests that he will be part of the series against South Africa as well.

“There is no medical update about the time that will take for him to be fully fit, but currently, it does not look good,” a source in the know said.

Further, all-rounder Deepak Hooda, who is currently down with a back injury and wasn’t available for the third and final T20I against Australia in Hyderabad, is set to miss the fixtures against the rainbow nation. Like Shami, Hooda has also not travelled with the side to Thiruvananthapuram.

In fact, Hooda’s injury could be of serious nature and might be needing attention of the medical staff at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer, who was announced as a standby for the series, is most likely to come in as Hooda’s replacement.

However, there is still no information if there will be changes to the T20 World Cup squad. Notably, the Indian team will leave for Australia on October 6 after the South Africa series ends in Indore on October 4. While Shami is among four standbys in the India squad for the multi-team event that starts on October 16, Hooda is part of the main 15-member outfit.

India squad for South Africa T20Is:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Shreyas Iyer (likely)


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