India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday said there is only spot left to be filled in the team’s pace attack for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, indicating that Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are almost certain to make the cut.
Kohli was addressing the media ahead of the first T20 International against the West Indies in Hyderabad on Friday. “The fight obviously is for one spot and I think, more or less, three guys have made a place for themselves. It’s going to be a healthy competition and it will be interesting to see how it pans out,” Kohli said.
Referring to India’s problem of plenty in pace bowling, Kohli said, as a captain, he couldn’t have been happier. “It’s not that big an issue for us,” he said. “I think Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar] and [Jasprit] Bumrah are experienced bowlers. They have been very consistent in T20 cricket. Deepak [Chahar] has come in and has bowled really well.”
He added, “[Mohammed] Shami is coming back and is bowling really well. If he gets into a rhythm and specifically works on what’s required in T20 cricket then he will be very, very useful in places like Australia, especially with his ability to pick wickets with the new ball. He has enough pace to execute yorkers.”
The Indian pace attack looks menacing with the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in the T20 set up. Shami last featured in a T20 International in 2017, while Bhuvneshwar returns to the squad after recovering from a muscle problem. The 29-year-old’s last T20 was against the West Indies in the Caribbean this year.
The find of the Bangladesh series, Deepak Chahar, has also made a case for himself with his brilliant displays recently. “There are two more guys vying for that spot along with three seamers. It’s a good position to be in because everyone is bowling really well,” the India captain said.