Mohammed Shami Ruled Out of South Africa Tests with Ankle Injury

Mumbai: Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the upcoming two-Test series in South Africa due to an ankle injury, if reports in the media are to be believed. The 33-year-old did not travel with the team from Mumbai to Johannesburg, and his availability for the series was conditional when the squads were initially announced.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is unlikely to name a replacement for Shami immediately, as several players are already in South Africa for the limited-overs series. The team management, along with selectors on tour, will decide if any additional pacers should stay back as cover for Shami. The current squad includes pacers Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Prasidh Krishna.

Shami had reportedly been experiencing pain in his right ankle during the World Cup but continued to play through the discomfort, emerging as India’s most successful bowler in the tournament. His record on South African soil is impressive, with 35 wickets in eight Tests at an average of 23.22. During India’s last series in South Africa in 2021-22, Shami was the leading wicket-taker with 14 wickets in three Tests.

The first Test of the series is scheduled to start on Boxing Day, December 26, at Centurion, followed by the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town. The T20I series will precede the Tests, followed by three ODIs on December 17, 19, and 21. In addition to Shami’s absence, South African pacer Kagiso Rabada is also uncertain for the Test series.

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