Mohammed Shami, who has not played for India after the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup, might not feature in the India-South Africa Test series as well. Shami, who has not been included for the first two Test matches, was expected to make a return in the final two Tests, but the BCCI are not willing to take any risk with the T20 World Cup and an important series in Australia coming up next year.
The India bowler, who underwent a knee surgery, is still only 60-70% percent fit.
"I spoke to Shami sometime back and he said that he is now around 60-70 percent fit. He is still not bowling full tilt. There is a possibility that he might be match-fit by the time of the final Test against South Africa in Delhi (starting December 3)," PTI quoted Shami's childhood coach Badruddin Siddique as saying.
"But I heard that the team management has told him that they need him for Australia tour and World T20 next year and would not like to take any risk."
India travel to Australia for an intriguing five-match ODI and three-match T20 series in January. This series could set a perfect tone for India, who are set to host the T20 World Cup in March.
Shami is going to play an important part in the T20 World Cup and the BCCI does not want to throw him into the mix when he is not 100% fit and it makes perfect sense. With no quality fast bowler in the Indian team, the BCCI needs to handle such issues of fitness with utmost care.
"Shami is confident that he will be hundred percent match fit by the time the limited overs series is held in Australia in January. After that there is the big event, World T20. The feedback that he has got is that 'we would be happy to get you during last Test but we can't miss you for the World T20'. Shami is working towards that," Badruddin said.
With India set to miss Shami for the entire Test series, fast bowlers such as Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma need to come up with quality performances. However, the Delhi lad will miss the first Test due to suspension.