India‘s Mohammed Shami has defended fellow fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who went without a wicket in the recent three-ODI series against New Zealand.
This tour is only Bumrah's second since returning from a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to a back injury. He is part of the squad for this month's Test series in Wellington and Christchurch. India have been offered at 2.20 by bet365 to win the series opener.
“Every sportsman can get injured and one should try and look at the positives rather than harp on negatives. I also got injured in 2015, with my knee, and then bounced back. I can understand we are discussing on a topic after a certain length of time, not just after two to four games,” said Shami.
“Just because he hasn't performed in two games, you can't just ignore his ability to win matches. What Bumrah has achieved for India, how can you even forget that or for that matter ignore it? So I think if you think positively, then its good for the players, good for his confidence also.”
Fast bowler Navdeep Saini, meanwhile, has impressed this year – and received public praise from captain Virat Kohli. Saini featured in January's ODI series against Sri Lanka and Australia. He, too, is in the Test squad – and might debut in Wellington or Christchurch.
“He is young, he's got talent, pace, height. So there are benefits. But yes, someone has to guide him and take him along the way. He needs support. He is bowling well but no one possesses experience straightaway. It comes with passage of time. Hopefully, it will come soon and we seniors are there to help him. Everyone wants to support talent which is good for the team,” added Shami.
Shami and others in IPL
Shami, Bumrah and Saini will play for the Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year's Indian Premier League. Mumbai are the reigning champions after beating the Chennai Super Kings in last year's final. Mumbai and Chennai will contest the opening fixture of the 2020 IPL on 29 March at the Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai and Chennai have won the tournament four and three times, respectively.