Md Shami races against time to be fit for South Africa, return during England series more likely

If a replacement is indeed required for Shami, the selectors under Ajit Agarkar have the option of drafting in a bowler from the India A squad currently in South Africa

Shami is likely to continue his recuperation at home (photo: @MdShami11/X)
Shami is likely to continue his recuperation at home (photo: @MdShami11/X)
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PTI

Senior pacer Mohammed Shami, who is recovering from an ankle injury, is racing against time to be fit for the Test series against South Africa, starting at Centurion on Boxing Day, 26 December.

Though Shami was included in the Test squad that was announced on 30 November, the 33-year-old's availability was subject to his recovery after treatment.

In that context, PTI understands that Shami might not board the flight to South Africa along with other members of the Test squad such as captain Rohit Sharma, senior batter Virat Kohli, fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah and others, who are scheduled to fly out to Johannesburg on Friday.

Shami is likely to continue his recuperation at home, and the pacer could make a return during the Test series at home against England starting from 25 January in Hyderabad.

If a replacement is indeed required for Shami, the selectors under Ajit Agarkar have the option of drafting in a bowler from the India A squad which is currently playing in South Africa.

Before the first match against South Africa, the Test side members will play a three-day intra-squad match from 20 December. The second Test against the Proteas will start at Cape Town from 3 January 2024.

Meanwhile, Shami has something to cheer for as he was nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award on Wednesday. As per the information received from the Union sports ministry, a special request was made by the BCCI to the ministry to include Shami's name as he originally didn't figure in the list.

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