India's limited overs captain hopeful hamstrung pacer will recover in time for next month's ICC World T20
Kolkata: Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not have the services of hamstrung Mohammed Shami in the Asia Cup after the pacer was ruled out of the Bangladesh-hosted tournament on Friday, but the India skipper is not losing hope over the swing bowler's participation at next month's ICC World T20 in India.
MS Dhoni. Pic/AFP
"You have to keep in mind that you announce the 15 one month in advance unlike a bilateral series. He has been one bowler who has bowled well both with the new ball and at the death. If he is fit, the attack looks even better. That's the reason he's in the side and in any case, you have a replacement option," said Dhoni at a press conference before leaving for Bangladesh yesterday.
Shami hasn't figured on the international scene ever since he played through pain to help India reach the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup. Shami played four domestic T20 and one-day matches before being picked for the Australia series earlier this year, but had to return home before the limited overs tour started.
In and out
Shami made it to the Asia Cup and World T20 squads too, but was again ruled out of the Asia Cup T20 tournament after failing to recover from his Grade II injury to his left hamstring. A few days ago, Shami played a club match for Mohun Bagan to test his fitness under the watchful eyes of a National Cricket Academy's physio in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, Dhoni is looking at giving every player a game in the Asia Cup to strike the right balance before World T20. "Often, you don't get too many games before the World T20, so it's good to have some games to get into the groove. We will try to give everybody a game. It's important to give everyone a game under their belt but we will look to win the games and that's our top priority," he said.
Dhoni also made it clear that he is not a big believer of the luck factor. "Definitely, luck is a big factor. It may be the toss. You may have a game with dew and you lose the toss or you have a rain-affected game but I don't think there's champions luck as such. Luck comes into play the moment you flip the coin," he concluded.