India’s pace spearhead, Mohammed Shami, is currently displaying exceptional form. His outstanding performance in the recently concluded IPL 2023, where he secured 28 wickets, earned him the prestigious Purple Cap as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker. However, as the World Test Championship (WTC) final takes place in England, Shami may face some challenges due to the contrasting conditions between the subcontinent and the UK. The Indian players will need to adapt swiftly to make a significant impact.
With Jasprit Bumrah absent, the responsibility on Shami’s shoulders increases significantly. The likes of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne can pose a significant threat in the middle order. Recognizing Shami’s importance, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting emphasized that India’s success in the WTC final hinges on Shami performing at his absolute best. Follow your favourite cricket team with attractive cricket betting odds from Nextbet.
“Mohammed Shami has to step up or try to take his game to another level if India is going to win this game. When you talk to the Australian batters as well, they understand how good Shami is, whether it’s the new ball or old ball, whether it’s in Australia or India,” Ponting expressed in the latest episode of ICC Review.
In addition to discussing Shami’s crucial role, Ponting also shared his belief that India should have considered the inclusion of all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the WTC final due to his exceptional form. He stated that Pandya could have been the X-Factor for Team India, potentially making the difference between the two teams.
“One thing I thought about the other day for India in this game is how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a one-off Test match. I know he is on record saying that the Test match game is probably a little bit hard on his body. But for a one-off game… he’s been bowling every game through this IPL, and he’s bowling quick. He (Pandya) could be that X-factor there just to pick in a one-off game, come in and see what he can do with bat and ball. He could be the difference between the two teams,” the 48-year-old affirmed.
As the much-anticipated WTC final unfolds, the onus will be on Mohammed Shami to deliver a stellar performance despite the unfamiliar conditions. His ability to adapt and thrive will be critical for India’s chances of emerging victorious against a formidable Australian batting lineup. While Hardik Pandya’s absence in the final may be seen as a missed opportunity for India, the team will need to find alternative strategies to counter their opponents and strive for success in this pinnacle clash of Test cricket. Get all the latest updates from the world of cricket only on Nextbet Sports.