The exclusion of this world cup’s only hat-trick taking bowler Shami was quite puzzling for Indian cricket team fans, as the team management opted to try Bhuvneshwar Kumar in his place.
Shami, who has managed to get an impressive tally of 14 wickets in 4 matches with his career-best figures of 69/5 in his maiden world cup match, looked like an obvious choice for the playing XI.
He has been touted by many cricket experts as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. Shami has also become the second Indian bowler after Chetan Sharma to manage a World Cup hat-trick, in the recent match with Afghanistan.
Baffled Twitterati and cricket pundits alike, expressed their displeasure over Shami’s exclusion.
Like @SGanguly99, I admit I am surprised by the dropping of Shami. He takes wickets upfront and if you do, the death overs aren't as critical. India batting very deep with Jadeja at 8 but it is a big call to leave out Kuldeep against a team he has done well.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 9, 2019
India’s XI is slightly conservative. Picking Bhuvi & Jadeja ahead Kuldeep & Shami they’ve arguably picked the better all-round players at the expense of the better bowlers, but on a fresh pitch which has been high-scoring in this comp that batting depth could be precious. #CWC19— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) July 9, 2019
Okay with Chahal over Kuldeep. Not so much for Shami’s exclusion. Only five bowlers is a possible concern but from that perspective, bowling first isn’t that bad a thing. India bats deep with this combination. #CWC19 #IndvNZ— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) July 9, 2019
There are about 20 people sitting around me right now, nobody has a clue why Bhuvi is playing ahead of Shami. And they all know the game.— Abhishek (@Sajjanlaunda) July 9, 2019
The best captain on the earth, has dropped shami from the team, expecting better excuses from cuties to defend him this time. #NZvIND— ANSHUMAN🚩 (@AvengerReturns) July 9, 2019
Meanwhile, New Zealand took on India at the iconic Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester, England on Tuesday. They were 211/5 in 46.1 overs when rain interrupted the match.