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India monitor Shami’s fitness ahead of Cup

India head coach Rahul Dravid says they are monitoring seamer Mohammed Shami’s recovery from COVID-19 as they look to replace the injured Jasprit Bumrah ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

India’s cricket board (BCCI) confirmed on Monday that pace spearhead Bumrah had been ruled out due to a back injury, delivering a huge blow to the team who are also without injured all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

Shami, Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj are seen as the frontrunners to replace Bumrah. While Siraj and Chahar were part of India’s 2-1 T20 series win over South Africa, Shami has been out of action after failing to recover in time from COVID.

“Shami obviously is someone who’s in the standbys, but unfortunately for us, he couldn’t play this (South Africa) series, which would have been ideal from that perspective,” Dravid told reporters.

Shami is undergoing recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The Indian team management and selectors have until October 15 to name the replacement.

Captain Rohit Sharma said the team would be looking at players who have previous experience of bowling in Australia, where the World Cup begins on October 16.

“I don’t know who that guy is yet. There are a few guys in the reckoning for that, but we’ll make that call once we reach Australia,” he added.

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