Mohammed Shami has fought off his COVID-19 infection ahead of the first T20I against South Africa but will miss the series after being replaced in the squad by Umesh Yadav. The pacer is a traveling reserve for the World T20 even though he has not featured in a T20I since the previous edition.
Mohammed Shami has uploaded a story on Instagram announcing he has successfully returned a negative test for the novel coronavirus. The pacer was diagnosed with COVID-19 ahead of the recently concluded three-match T20I series against Australia and was replaced by Umesh Yadav.
Shami was expected to make a comeback in the South Africa series scheduled to begin on September 28 in Thiruvananthapuram but the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced earlier in the day the bowler was yet to fully recover, roping in Yadav once again for their last T20I outings ahead of the ICC World T20 next month in Australia.
Shami last played a T20I for India in November 2021 during the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where he scalped six wickets in five games. He has since played in the Indian Premier League 2022 where he starred for the Gujarat Titans with 20 wickets in 16 matches but failed to earn a cap for the Men in Blues in the race against the likes of Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh.
Nevertheless, the 32-year-old has been included in the World T20 squad as a traveling reserve and may fill in for either Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, or Harshal Patel should any unfortunate incident occur.