As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the start of the ODI World Cup 2023, the question on everyone’s mind is whether India should rely on the experienced Mohammed Shami or the all-rounder Shardul Thakur for their bowling arsenal. Former Indian spinner Piyush Chawla has shared his opinion on the red-hot topic.
Notably, India will kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai, setting the stage for what promises to be a thrilling tournament. In preparation for the marquee event, the hosts are currently locked in an ODI series against Aussies, which commenced on Friday. The first ODI, played in Mohali, showcased breathtaking performances from the Indian contingent.
Shami’s sensational spell while Shardul struggles
One name that stood out in the opening ODI was Shami. The pacer delivered a masterclass in swing bowling, wreaking havoc on the Australian batting unit. Shami’s remarkable 5-wicket haul for just 51 runs in his 10-over quota, including a maiden, played a essential role in India’s convincing five-wicket victory over Australia.
Shami’s ability to adapt to the conditions by hitting the right length with both the new and old ball drew widespread acclaim. His performance put him in the spotlight as a potential asset for India in the World Cup.
In stark contrast, Shardul, known for his ability to chip in with wickets and runs, had a less-than-impressive outing in the same match. Shardul failed to get any wicket and ended up conceding a hefty 78 runs in his quota of 10 overs, leading to criticism from fans.
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Piyush Chawla’s verdict
As the debate rages on about who should get the nod between Shami and Shardul for the ODI World Cup, former Indian spinner Chawla has offered his perspective. The Aligarh-born cricketer emphasized the importance of having a proper bowler in the squad and leaned towards Shami.
Chawla highlighted that Shardul’s batting, although valuable, might not offer the explosive impact India needs in the middle order. Moreover, he pointed out that Shardul’s economy rate tends to be on the high side which is a concern in conditions where pitches are expected to favor batters.
“If we talk about Shardul’s batting also, it’s not that somebody will come and give you those quickfire 30, 40 runs off 20 balls. He’s a good player for a run a ball sometimes, maybe like 24-ball 25 runs,” Chawla explained in a conversation with ESPNcricinfo.
“And if you talk about his bowling, I agree that he has picked up wickets and he has got quite a few of them. But his economy rate is always on the high side, and if you talk about the conditions where India is going to play, most of the wickets are going to be a bit flat. So you need somebody who’s like a proper bowler, who can come in as one change and still bowl at the 135-140 mark,” he added.
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