In a recent development that has sent ripples through the cricketing community, Mohammed Shami, the seasoned Indian pacer, is facing a race against time to recover from an ankle injury ahead of the much-anticipated Test series against South Africa. The 33-year-old has been grappling with this issue since the World Cup, where, despite the pain, he showcased his resilience by claiming an impressive 24 wickets, propelling India to the final.

Shami is likely to be ruled out of the South Africa Test series. [Cricbuzz]
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 14, 2023

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Conditional Inclusion in Test Squad Raises Eyebrows

Shami’s inclusion in the Test squad, announced on November 30, came with a crucial condition – his ability to regain full fitness. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) explicitly stated, “Mr. Mohd. Shami is currently undergoing medical treatment, and his availability is subject to fitness.”

Uncertain Participation and Potential Replacements

Latest reports from Cricbuzz indicate that Shami might not recover in time for the South Africa series, raising doubts about his participation. While key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and R Ashwin prepare to depart for South Africa, Shami’s absence from the flight is conspicuous.

The BCCI has refrained from naming a replacement for Shami thus far. Speculations are rife that one of the pacers already in South Africa for the T20Is and ODIs may fill the void left by Shami in the Test squad.

Homecoming Hopes: Eyes on the England Series

If Shami misses the South Africa Tests, there is a silver lining for fans as the veteran pacer could make a comeback during the Test series at home against England, scheduled to commence on January 25 at Hyderabad.

The Arjuna Award Nomination Amidst Uncertainty

Adding a touch of positivity to Shami’s current predicament, he received a nomination for the prestigious Arjuna Award. The BCCI’s special request to include Shami’s name in the list, as he was initially omitted, reflects the esteem in which he is held in the cricketing fraternity.

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