New Delhi, Oct 19: Former India cricketer Manoj Tiwary has thrown his weight behind the fiery pacer Mohammad Shami, favouring him over the all-rounder Shardul Thakur in the playing XI for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Thursday.
Shami's presence had been noticeably absent in the initial three of World Cup matches. Based on pitch assessment, the wily spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was granted a spot in the starting eleven for the encounter against Australia, while the dynamic Shardul Thakur was entrusted with the responsibility in the subsequent two matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“I will always prefer Mohammad Shami because I feel two fast bowling all-rounders aren't required in the XI. Team management might be considering Shardul's batting exploits. He has done well in Tests but hasn't been able to replicate the same on a consistent basis in the shorter format. The think tank must be planning for a situation where 30 is required off 15 balls and Shardul's batting might come in more handy than Shami," said Star Sports Bangla Cricket Expert Manoj Tiwary.
"However, I don't think that should be the way forward because India's batting order is solid and if they can't perform, Shardul too won't be able to do much with the bat lower down the order. I always feel wickets can stop the run flow and between these two, Shami looks in great rhythm and is bowling brilliantly. As a result, he should play against Bangladesh," he added.
Speaking on the rivalry of India versus Bangladesh, Tiwary said: "This match is very vital for Bangladesh to remain alive in the competition. They have to keep winning from here on. However, India will take the field with a winning mentality and I believe they will win with ease. India will leapfrog other competitors with a victory in this game which makes this fixture very important for both teams."
India will take on Bangladesh will lock horns on Thursday at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
With six points in their kitty on the back of three emphatic wins, India eyeing to continue their winning run while Bangladesh will look to bounce back in Pune. After a win in their first World Cup encounter, the Tigers have suffered back-to-back resounding losses.