WTC Final 2023: 'It's going to have to be him' — Ponting on Mohammed Shami's crucial role

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With Jasprit Bumrah not available for the big game due to injury, the onus lies with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.

File photo of Mohammed Shami while playing against Australia in the 2023 Border Gavaskar series. AP

Going into the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final on the back of a great IPL season, Mohammed Shami will need to take on the charge of India’s bowling attack, believes former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

WTC Final: All you need to know

Talking to ICC Review about the WTC final between India and Australia from 7-11 June at The Oval in London, Ponting said, “I think he (Shami) has to step up or try and take his game to another level if India are going to win this game.”

“When you talk to the Australian batters as well, they understand how good Shami is whether it’s a new ball or old ball, whether it’s in Australia or India,” the former Aussie said.

Given that Jasprit Bumrah will not be available for the big game due to injury, the onus lies with Shami and Mohammed Siraj. Adding to their responsibility will be the English conditions which will render spinners like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin not very effective.

Shami is expected to spearhead the bowling lineup since he is the senior of the two seamers and he comes straight out of a rather successful IPL season, where bowling for the Gujarat Titans he also won the Purple Cup, taking 28 wickets with an economy of 8.03 and an average of 18.64.

WTC Final: Team India’s concerns going into ‘Ultimate Test’ against Australia at The Oval

In the last WTC final Shami had Bumrah and Ishant Sharma by his side, but this time it will be him, mostly, faced with the Australian batting order studded with the likes of Travis Head, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne.

Shami played the Aussies in the Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year bowling nearly 70 overs through the tournament. He had the best bowling figure of 4/60.

“They know the skillset he’s got and how dangerous he can be. It’s going to have to be him,” Ponting concluded.

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Updated Date: June 03, 2023 21:46:33 IST

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