India opted to rest Mohammed Shami along with Yuzvendra Chahal in their World Cup clash against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja replaced the duo in India’s final league match of the 10-nation tournament.
India comfortably scripted a seven-wicket win in the game en route to their chase of 265 to finish at top of the points table. While the change in playing XI can be seen as a sheer plan of resting key players or looking at other options ahead of the knockout stage, one of the cricket analysts from Pakistan read a little too deep into it. He felt Shami was dropped from the Indian team because of BJP’s agenda of not allowing Muslim’s to progress.
“I wouldn’t have dropped Shami. The bowler who has picked 14 wickets in only three matches (4 matches). You’ve benched him suddenly. He was also approaching a record. He would’ve also come in top two or three in the leading wicket-takers’ list. I can’t understand. I think there is pressure on the team to bench Shami. I think BJP’s agenda of not letting the Muslims progress is the reason for Shami being benched,” he said while speaking on a Pakistan new channel.
VIDEO: India rested Shami yesterday against Sri Lanka on Modi's order as he doesn't want Muslims to play for team and break records – Pakistan's cricket analysts pic.twitter.com/BVv2bLwpUD
— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) July 7, 2019
This isn’t the first time that religion has been brought into match discussions while talking about Shami. Last week, former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, while speaking as one of the panelists on Geo TV, hailed ‘musalman’ Shami’s effort while accusing the other bowlers of not giving their best in India’s defeat against England.
Meanwhile, Shami is expected to return to the playing XI in the semi-final where India will face New Zealand. The match is slated to take place in Manchester on July 9.