Mohammed Shami looked to have attained close to full fitness as he bowled with full intensity during India’s first training session at the Gabba on Sunday, ahead of their first warm-up fixture against England on Monday.
Shami, who had reached Brisbane after recovering from COVID-19 and getting a go-ahead, had replaced an injured Jasprit Bumrah in the squad of 15.
On Sunday, Shami had a full-fledged session with coach Rahul Dravid welcoming him in the mix after a lay-off of around three months.
As far as the first session went, Shami looked to be building on his rhythm as he bowled for quite some time to team’s best batter Virat Kohli. It seemed that he is still trying to hit the straps and perhaps the upcoming warm-up games against England and New Zealand would provide an idea about his match fitness.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 16, 2022
There is no hiding that a 80 per cent fit Shami with his skill-sets will be more effective than a completely out of sorts Harshal Patel, who was taken to cleaners by Dinesh Karthik during the net session on Sunday.
Karthik would disdainfully smash Harshal’s length deliveries in the imaginary deep mid-wicket region and the low full-tosses through the square leg.
However, while trying to play the lap scoop off Shami, Karthik was bowled leg stump and the Bengal speedster had a wry smile.
But will Dravid and Rohit play Shami against England or allow him to have two more net sessions before checking him on Wednesday against New Zealand is the big question.
The two warm-up games, which will be aired live in the Indian sub-continent, will also provide everyone with a clear picture about what kind of playing XI will be fielded on October 23 against arch-rivals Pakistan.
Both Rishabh Pant and Karthik had a good hit at the nets but who will be featuring in the playing XI will possibly be clear while looking at the batting order of the two practice games.
Stand by pacers Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur have also reached Brisbane.