Rohit Sharma says India has bench strength to cover for injuries at 2022 T20 World Cup

Mohammed Shami has replaced Jasprit Bumrah in India’s T20 World Cup squad. Shami has reached Australia and will link up with the squad in Brisbane ahead of India’s two official warm-ups

Published : Oct 15, 2022 11:13 IST , MELBOURNE

Shami hasn’t played any form of cricket in the last three months. 
Shami hasn’t played any form of cricket in the last three months.  | Photo Credit: AP

Shami hasn’t played any form of cricket in the last three months.  | Photo Credit: AP

India has the bench strength to make up for the absence of its injured stars when its T20 World Cup campaign gets under way against Pakistan, skipper Rohit Sharma said on Saturday.

Mohammed Shami has been added to India's 15-man squad to replace pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who is out with back issues, for the marquee tournament in Australia starting on Sunday.

Key all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also missing the tournament due to injury, but Rohit insisted the team was ready for the challenge with the players at hand.

"Injury is part and parcel of the sport. Injuries will happen if we play so many matches, so our focus for the last year was that we had to build bench strength," Rohit told reporters at a press conference in Melbourne.

"Our focus is to try and create backups and give them the opportunity. The bowlers, who have come with us in the World Cup, have played enough matches."

Shami, 32, was a last-minute replacement after the team waited on his recovery from Covid, which made him miss the home series against Australia and South Africa.

The veteran quick will meet up with the rest of the squad in Brisbane, where India will play two warm-up matches against the host and New Zealand.

Positive feedback

"Whatever we have heard about Shami has been very positive," said Rohit.

"His recovery after Covid has been good, and (he) has had three to four bowling sessions with full intensity. All is looking good with Shami."

Shami will join fellow fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh.

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