"Where is Shami?"
The big semi-final World Cup clash is here. Millions of Indians have come out in support of Men in Blue as Virat Kohli-led side takes on Kane Williamson's New Zealand at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
India, however, received its first blow moments before the much-anticipated encounter when Williamson won the crucial toss and chose to bat first - an ideal pitch to put up a big total on the scoreboard for the opponents to chase.
The second shocker came in the form of Indian front-line pacer Mohammed Shami missing a spot in the playing XI, a decision that baffled everyone including cricket pundits Sourav Ganguly and Harsha Bhogle.
Shami has been the leading wicket-taker in the Indian camp in the ongoing World Cup in England, one who has a knack of picking up early wickets. In fact, the right-handed pacer started the campaign for the country by picking up 13 wickets in 3 games, including a match-turning hat-trick in a thrilling contest against Gulbadin Naib's Afghanistan at Rose Bowl Cricket Ground.
"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," a puzzled Bhogle tweeted.
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
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
His omission in a vital clash left cricket fans very, very confused.
Blunder 😮😮😮😮😑 Shami is not in playing X|#INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/QHku7KjZnu — EPIC BLOGGER 🐦 (@kush_blog) July 9, 2019
#INDvNZ #shami is not playing todays game Indians ~ pic.twitter.com/H5JWmvTM1r — Priyankarawat (@Priyank62435140) July 9, 2019
Is Shami injured or have we wilfully not picked the guy with 14 wickets in 4 games & the best strike rate in the entire tournament? ♂️ — Sahil Rizwan (@SahilRiz) July 9, 2019
I can’t believe they haven’t picked Shami....pathetic selection #INDvNZ — Abhishek (@Abhishe14381283) 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