Shami featured in the playing XI in the match against Nepal, which Jasprit Bumrah missed as he had returned home for the birth of his child. In all other matches, Team India have gone with Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Hardik Pandya as their pacers.
The Men in Blue have booked their place in the final of the Asia Cup and will face Bangladesh in an inconsequential Super 4 match on Friday, September 15 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Speaking ahead of the match, Mhambrey shared his thoughts on the think tank’s decision to drop Shami from the playing XI.
He explained, “It's not very easy to drop someone like Shami. The experience that he has and the performance that he has done for the country is phenomenal. It's never easy to have that kind of a conversation (dropping a player). The players are confident in us. They are fully aware that any decisions we make are made with the team's best interests in mind."
The 51-year-old also expressed happiness over the manner in which pacer Bumrah has made successful return to international cricket after a 11-month layoff. Mhambrey asserted that his progress is being tracked closely and the results are very encouraging.
"His progress has been monitored meticulously at the NCA, and we couldn't be happier with the report returned. Currently, we are equipped with four skilled bowlers, it's always beneficial to have such abundant choices. An embarrassment of riches is always a plus," the former fast bowler commented.
One of the big positives from India’s impressive Asia Cup campaign so far has been the bowling performance of all-rounder Pandya. While the pacer has had his problems with fitness in the past, he has bowled at speeds of 140 kmph in some games, prominently his spell against Sri Lanka.
Analyzing Pandya’s impact on India’s performance in the Asia Cup, the bowling coach stressed, "I am very happy with the way Hardik has shaped up, something that we have worked on for a long time. We have been managing his workload, making sure that he is fit and able to achieve what we expect out of him.
“Once he hits 140 kmph, he is a different bowler. From the team perspective it's a wicket-taking option that we have,” Mhambrey went on to add.
India will be looking to clinch their seventh ODI Asia Cup title in the final in Colombo on Sunday, September 17.
--By A Cricket Correspondent