While talking about the team selection for the final Test of the India-England series, Sunil Gavaskar has stressed that the inclusion of Mohammed Shami was a must. The Indian legend also went as far as to say that Shami was likely to replace an ‘off colour’ Mohammed Siraj for the Old Trafford Test.
During the fourth-Test match against England at The Oval, the Indian team executed an impressive comeback to seal the victory by 157 runs. Despite missing key players like Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Ravichandran Ashwin, India put up a top-notch performance and bundled out the visitors for 210 runs in the final innings of the match. Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers statistically as he picked up 3 wickets in each innings. Shardul Thakur picked up 3 wickets in total while scoring a couple of two half-centuries with the willow. But it was a spell by Jasprit Bumrah that really turned the game on its head.
The former India cricketer is one among the many who have shared their thoughts regarding the Indian team’s squad for the fifth-Test match. Gavaskar asserted that Mohammed Shami had to be included in the squad and there was no way around it.
"Shami walks into the team. There's no question about it. The only question is... whether Shami comes in place of Siraj - because he was just off colour in this particular game - so that's the only area where I see the opportunity to make a chance. But he has to come in, there's no question about it," Gavaskar said on the Sony Sports Network at the end of the 4th Test.
The former Indian batsman also shared his thoughts regarding pacer Jasprit Bumrah and stated that Virat Kohli could not risk excluding the star-pacer, as India were yet to win the Test series.
"I think in my view, you're still playing for India and the series is yet to be won. If you are 2-0 up, then rest Bumrah, but we still haven't won the series so Bumrah has to play," Gavaskar added.
India now lead the five-match Test series by 2-1. The fifth-Test is scheduled to start on Friday, September 10, at Old Trafford, Manchester.