Mohammed Shami has been called up to replace the injured Jasprit Bumrah in India's T20 World Cup squad.

Bumrah was ruled out of the tournament earlier this month due to a back problem, which will keep the paceman out of action for around six weeks.

A BCCI statement on Friday confirmed Shami, who has not played at all over the past three months, has now joined India's squad in Australia.

Shami, who starred for Indian Premier League champions Gujarat Titans earlier this year, was included in India's squad for their T20I series against Australia and South Africa, only to test positive for COVID-19.

 

Mohammed Siraj was named the player of the series against South Africa, which India won 2-1, and has been named as a back-up alongside Shardul Thakur.

While Shami has not featured in recent months, he always seemed a likely option to replace Bumrah due to his experience of playing in Australia - he has played Down Under in two Test series and was one of India's best performers with the ball in the 2015 ODI World Cup.

The 32-year-old last played a T20I in last year's World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, taking six wickets in five appearances. 

Shami helped the Titans to an IPL title in their maiden season in the competition, taking 20 wickets and playing in all 16 of their games.

India start their World Cup campaign against fierce rivals Pakistan at the MCG a week on Sunday.

 

India T20 World Cup squad:

Rohit Sharma (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chaha, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Suryakumar Yadav.

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes impressed before England were denied the chance to press for a 3-0 series clean sweep against Australia by rain in Canberra.

Captain Buttler cracked 65 from 41 balls as England posted 112-2 from 12 overs in the third T20I, their innings having been disrupted twice by downpours at Manuka Oval.

Buttler's fellow opener Alex Hales made a disappointing duck, while Dawid Malan scored 23 and Ben Stokes added an unbeaten 17.

The fifth over of England's innings saw a minor flash point as Australia paceman Starc appear to threaten a 'Mankad' dismissal when he claimed Buttler, later named player of the series, was leaving the crease at the bowler's end too early.

England held a 2-0 lead coming into the final match of the series, after posting eight-run wins in Perth and the first leg of a Canberra double-header, and they had another victory in their sights, particularly when the home team made a dreadful start to their reply.

Australia lost Aaron Finch to the first ball of their innings, with the captain reaching outside off stump and flogging Chris Woakes to Harry Brook at deep point.

Woakes had two wickets in two balls when Mitchell Marsh fell, Mark Wood taking the catch after the batter looked to be caught in two minds and got a leading edge to short third man. Steve Smith fended off the hat-trick ball.

Australia got to 30-3 in their reply from 3.5 overs, with Woakes (3-4 from two overs) having also dismissed Glenn Maxwell, when rain stopped play again.

Five overs needed to be completed for a result to be called, but there was no prospect of play resuming, the teams denied what could have been a useful finale to the contest ahead of the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup campaign.

It has been a long time coming but the T20 World Cup will finally get under way in Australia on Sunday.

Two years later than scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will start with Sri Lanka taking on Namibia at Kardinia Park followed by the United Arab Emirates versus the Netherlands at the same venue on Sunday.

There will be six days of qualifying matches to decide which four teams will go through to the Super 12, which starts with a repeat of last year's final between holders Australia and New Zealand on October 22.

You could make a case for several teams being strong contenders to lift the trophy at the MCG on November 13.

Stats Perform picks out some of the storylines to look out for in a tournament that will be well worth the wait.

 

Windies and Sri Lanka should avoid shock early exit

The only team to have won the T20 World Cup twice is West Indies, but they failed to secure direct qualification for the Super 12 on this occasion.

They lost four out of five matches as defending champions in the United Arab Emirates last year, a crushing six-wicket defeat to England setting the tone as they were skittled out for a pitiful 55.

Nicholas Pooran's side will face Scotland, Zimbabwe, Ireland at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart and will be expected to advance from Group B.

Sri Lanka were crowned Asia Cup champions last month and ought to have no trouble in advancing from a Group A that also includes the Netherlands, the UAE and Namibia.

On a high from lifting the trophy in Dubai, Dasun Shanaka's men could be dangerous if they made it through to the Super 12 as expected.

 

Hosts in quest to make history

Australia ended their wait for a first T20 World Cup title in Dubai last year at the expense of the Black Caps, Mitchell Marsh blasting an unbeaten 77 in the final to seal an eight-wicket win.

No team has won back-to-back T20 World Cup titles, so the hosts have an opportunity to make history on home soil.

Tim David has emerged as another potential match-winner that has bolted his way into the squad and he is capable of making a big impact, while big things will be expected from the likes of David Warner with the bat.

Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are a formidable pace trio and leg-spinner Adam Zampa brings an X-Factor. Australia have a great chance of achieving a feat no other side has accomplished.

Can India make amends?

India were strongly fancied to win the rearranged T20 World Cup last year, but their challenge was all-but over soon after it had started.

They were consigned to a 10-wicket thrashing by fierce rivals in Pakistan in their first match and still looked shellshocked when New Zealand hammered them by eight wickets.

Virat Kohli stepped down as captain after that failure, with Rohit Sharma the skipper of what is another star-studded squad.

The loss of paceman Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to injury were huge blows, but India will be expected to mount a strong challenge as the top-ranked side in the world and batter Suryakumar Yadav can make a big impact.

Buttler to deliver in first tournament as skipper?

England looked unstoppable in the World Cup last year until they were knocked out by New Zealand at the semi-final stage.

Jos Buttler has since taken over as captain after Eoin Morgan retired from international cricket, and Matthew Mott was appointed as head coach.

Buttler has recovered from injury for what will be his first tournament as skipper and will look to produce the sort of form he did in the 2021 World Cup, in which he averaged a staggering 89.66.

England have huge firepower with the bat, while Reece Topley, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid are among the bowlers Buttler will be counting on to step up as they strive to lift the trophy for a second time.

 

Proteas a force to be reckoned with

South Africa have never been beyond the semi-final of a T20 World Cup, but there is every chance this could be their year.

Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje are a hostile trio of pace bowlers and they also have the wizardry of spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

The absence of Rassie van der Dussen is a big loss, but the Proteas are not short of explosive batting with the likes of Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Rillee Rossouw and Tristan Stubbs to call upon.

Ravi Shastri believes India's Twenty20 side is as strong as it has ever been ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

India failed to qualify from their group at the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year following heavy defeats to arch-rivals Pakistan and New Zealand.

Rahul Dravid replaced Shastri as head coach following that tournament and Rohit Sharma took over as captain after Virat Kohli stepped down.

India head into the 2022 World Cup at the top of the rankings, with expectations of being strong contenders to dethrone the hosts.

They will be without injured paceman Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, but Shastri fancies their chances.

He said: "I have been part of the system for the last six-seven years, first as a coach and now I am watching from the outside, and I think this is as good a line-up as India has ever had in T20 cricket.

"With Surya [Suryakumar Yadav] at number four, Hardik [Pandya] at number five, and Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik at number six, it makes a massive difference as it allows the top order to play the way they are playing."

However, there is one area of concern for legendary former all-rounder Shastri as India prepare for their opening match against Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.

"One area that India will have to pick up and start right from the beginning is fielding," Shastri said.

"They need to work hard and get their A-game on the field when they step out against Pakistan.

"Those 15-20 runs that you save can make all the difference because otherwise every time you get out to bat, you need to get 15-20 runs extra."

India will also face South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifiers in Group 2.

David Warner could have his lifetime ban on captaining Australia lifted.

Cricket Australia (CA) ruled that the opening batter would never hold a leadership role again due to his part in the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Warner was seen to have been a main protagonist in Cameron Bancroft using sandpaper to try and alter the condition of the ball during the Test against South Africa in Cape Town four years ago.

The 35-year-old has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Aaron Finch as ODI skipper after he stepped down last month.

With CA directors looking at rewriting the governing body's code of ethics, Warner may get another opportunity to lead his country.

"The view within Cricket Australia is that David is doing particularly well on the field and making a great contribution off the field," CA chairman Lachlan Henderson said. 

"The first step in terms of David's leadership ban is to review the code and see if those sanctions are able to be reviewed. And the appropriate revisions to that code that would need to be made.

Henderson added: "Our intention is to review the code as quick as is practical. It's not in anyone's interest for us to delay that. It would be in time for any future leadership conversations in relation to David."

Finch remains Australia's T20 captain for the World Cup on home soil.

A half-century knock from Dawid Malan steered England to an eight-run victory in their latest T20 World Cup warm-up against Australia on Wednesday.

The Yorkshire top-order batsman posted a superb 82 off 49 balls, and combined with Moeen Ali for a fifth-wicket stand of 92 at Canberra's Manuka Oval against the world champions for a total of 178-7.

The hosts looked to threaten a successful chase throughout, with Mitchell Marsh (45) forming the bedrock of their pursuit, ably supplanted by Tim David (40) following his dismissal.

Pat Cummins supplied a late burst of pyrotechnics too, smashing a six at the start of the final over into the scoreboard to set up a nerve-jangling last act.

But Sam Curran's taut bowling, with figures of 3-25, ultimately kept any resistance at bay, to make it two wins from two for the tourists ahead of this month's tournament as Australia finished with 170-6.

Victory hands England the three-match series, with a dead rubber third encounter to come on October 14, before they play their last warm-up against Pakistan on October 17.

Curran doubles down

Having bowled the final over in the first T20I to keep Australia out at the death, it was more of the same from the Surrey left-hander, who dismissed Marcus Stonis, Glenn Maxwell and David.

If there is any doubt about his position now, it looks to have been mostly eradicated, with the 24-year-old likely to make the cut for their opener against Afghanistan on October 22.

Finch reinforces position

Back at the top of the order after Cameron Green partnered David Warner against the West Indies, Australia captain Aaron Finch appears to not be moving from his spot now.

The 35-year-old played his part in claiming the T20 World Cup last year and will do so again from his preferred position, despite a lacklustre 13 off as many balls.

Shaheen Shah Afridi will join up with the Pakistan squad in Brisbane on Saturday ahead of the T20 World Cup after recovering from a knee injury.

The paceman has been out since July due to a knee ligament injury, but he completed his rehabilitation programme at Premier League football club Crystal Palace in London.

Afridi is available for Pakistan's World Cup warm-up games against England and Afghanistan next week.

The left-arm quick's fitness will be assessed prior to Pakistan's first game of the tournament versus fierce rivals India at the MCG on October 23.

Afridi said: "I am super-excited at the prospects of rejoining the national side for the T20 World Cup and playing my part in our Australia campaign. It has been a difficult period for me to be miles away from the game and the team I love the most, and not be part of some gruelling and exciting matches.

"I have been bowling six to eight overs trouble-free for the past 10 days with full run-up and pace. While I have enjoyed bowling and batting in the nets, nothing can replace the feel of the match environment and I can't wait to be in that setting.

"It has been a rigorous and challenging rehabilitation programme, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. To be honest, I am feeling fitter than ever before and can't wait to wear the playing kit and fire a few thunderbolts.

"I want to thank the PCB medical advisory committee as well as Crystal Palace FC for allowing me to use their outstanding facilities and looking after me so well during the rehabilitation programme."

Opening batter Fakhar Zaman, one of three travelling reserves, will also fly to Brisbane this weekend to complete his rehabilitation after he was also sidelined by a knee injury.

Daryl Mitchell will be in the New Zealand squad for the T20 World Cup despite suffering a fractured finger.

The batter was a doubt for the tournament in Australia after breaking the fifth metacarpal on his right hand when he took a blow in the nets last week.

Mitchell was ruled out of the pre-World Cup T20I Tri-Series encounters with Pakistan and Bangladesh but will travel to Australia.

Black Caps head coach Gary Stead revealed Mitchell may not be ready for New Zealand's first match of the tournament against the hosts at the SCG, but he hopes the 31-year-old will face Afghanistan four days later.

"The good news is we have made a decision about Daryl Mitchell, and he will tour with us to the World Cup," Stead said on Monday.

"When we thought about the value Daryl brings to the team and the likely time frame... we are still hopeful he'll be right for the first game but probably more realistically the second game.

"There will still be four pool games to go and then hopefully semi-final and final after that. 

"Daryl has showed the value to this team, and we feel it was the right decision to make."

The Black Caps are monitoring the fitness of fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who has been sidelined with an abdominal injury.

Shreyas Iyer hit a magnificent century as India trounced South Africa by seven wickets in Ranchi to level the ODI series.

South Africa had won the first match by nine runs in Lucknow, after a 2-1 reverse in the preceding T20I series, but India made light work of their chase in Sunday's second tussle between the teams.

Iyer hit 15 fours in his ODI career-best 113 not out, with Ishan Kishan weighing in with 93 as the third-wicket pair put India firmly on course for victory.

A stand of 129 for the third wicket between Reeza Hendricks (74) and Aiden Markram (79) underpinned South Africa's 278-7, with Heinrich Klaasen (30) and David Miller (35no) also making handy contributions lower down the order.

Opening bowler Mohammed Siraj took 3-38 from his 10 overs, including the wickets of Hendricks and opener Quinton de Kock. The paceman bowled the final over of the innings, from which South Africa could only prise three runs, putting the hosts on a high heading into their reply.

India lost openers Shikhar Dhawan, who captained the side, and Shubman Gill before the score reached 50. However, Kishan and Iyer soon took a grip on proceedings, putting on 161 for the third wicket.

Kishan had clubbed seven sixes and went down on the attack, caught by Hendricks while attempting to pull away a delivery from Bjorn Fortuin. 

Sanju Samson joined forces with Iyer, making 29 not out in the supporting role before Iyer chopped away the winning boundary, taking India to a winning score of 282-3 with 4.1 overs to spare.

Get set for Delhi decider

This three-match series will come to a head on Tuesday, before the teams head off to the T20 World Cup. India go there on a high after the batting exploits of Iyer and Kishan.

Kishan might be kicking himself at missing out on a century, with his previous highest score in ODIs having been a modest 59.

Iyer had one previous ODI century, a 103 that he scored against New Zealand in Hamilton in February 2020. In his last six ODIs, he now has one century, four 50-plus scores, and a 44.

Super Siraj

'Death' bowling can be a thankless task, but Siraj showed himself to be a classy finisher as the Proteas were left frustrated. His innings haul gave him his best bowling figures in ODIs, beaten only by his 3-29 against West Indies at Ahmedabad in February of this year.

England's T20 World Cup preparations are on track after an entertaining win by eight runs in the first match of their T20I series against Australia on Sunday.

Openers Jos Buttler (68) and Alex Hales (84) were central to England setting a commanding target of 209 in Perth, with their stand of 132 almost double that of any other partnership for either team.

No one else managed more than 13 for England, but Chris Woakes (13 not out from five) provided a late injection to help them pass 200 and set Australia a significant target.

Australia's response was valiant. David Warner (73) looked sharp, aided by Mitchell Marsh (36) and Marcus Stoinis. During the latter's 35 off just 15 balls, Australia looked to have turned the tide.

Mark Wood (3-34) was key to disrupting Australia's momentum as he claimed the scalps of Stoinis and Warner, though the hosts still went into the final over knowing 16 runs would seal victory.

Matthew Wade's (21) four at the start of the last over stoked hope, but Sam Curran ensured there was no dramatic late turnaround with two wickets in the space of three balls.

Hales a double threat

While Curran played an important part at the end and Buttler gave England's innings some real potency, Hales starred both with the bat and in the field.

Hales' match-high score came from 51 balls as he found a fine balance between power and composure to hang around until the 16th over, while he also made two catches.

Curran repays the faith

Having the ball for the final over was not only a show of faith, but also a real test for Curran – Australia's target of 16 at that point was hardly inconceivable.

But he held his nerve, eventually claiming two wickets and seeing England over the line in an exciting finish to the first of three clashes between the sides.

Matthew Wade says a crushing defeat to England in the last T20 World Cup was a "lightbulb moment" for Australia as the two sides prepare to do battle in a three-match series.

England hammered Australia by eight wickets with 50 balls to spare in the group stage of the T20 World Cup last year, but Aaron Finch's side went on to win the title for the first time.

Australia opted to go with a longer batting line-up after that crushing loss rather than pick five bowlers and reaped the rewards, beating New Zealand in the final.

The holders start the defence of their crown on home soil against the Black Caps at the SCG on October 22, but before then they take on an England side who are among the favourites to dethrone them.

Wicketkeeper-batter Wade feels the manner in which they were dismantled by England was a "turning point".

He said ahead of the opening match of the series at Perth Stadium: "They destroyed us in the World Cup. It was probably a turning point for the way we go about playing T20.

"We had to start to go a little bit harder, especially towards the top and then back end it with seven batters. We stuck to that formula after they destroyed us in the World Cup.

"So we're looking forward to playing them and see whether our game style [continues to work] – since then [it] has changed a little bit and hopefully we can go blow for blow with them.

"We've got seven batters now – we played six batters for a long time … but now we've got the power and we've got the depth of batting that I think you need to go with a team like England. You need to be able to score 200 to beat them on their day."

Captain Jos Buttler returns for a calf injury to lead England and Test skipper Ben Stokes is back after missing the 4-3 series win in Pakistan, but Liam Livingstone (ankle) remains sidelined.

England have won four of the past five T20Is between the two fierce rivals, but Australia have been victorious in seven of the last eight contests on home soil.

 

Smith in the spotlight

Australia completed a 2-0 whitewash of West Indies at The Gabba on Friday, but Steve Smith missed out once again as he fell for 17.

The former captain has not scored a T20I half-century since November 2019 and could do with some runs against England.

With Tim David having staked his claim for a place in the side and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis returning, Smith is in the spotlight.

Hales and Salt battling for opening berth

The return of Buttler at the top of the order means England will have to choose between Alex Hales and Phil Salt for the other opening spot.

Hales made a half-century in his long-awaited England comeback in the first match of the series against Pakistan, but fell for under 20 on three occasions.

Salt blasted a stunning unbeaten 88 from 41 balls in the sixth T20I in Lahore, but it remains to be seen if he will retain his place.

India bowler Deepak Chahar faces a race back to fitness for the T20 World Cup after being ruled out of the final two ODIs against South Africa due to a back injury.

The 30-year-old was absent for the first match of the ODI series on Thursday, which South Africa won by nine runs, after struggling with a back issue in the third T20I against the Proteas earlier in the month.

With the World Cup following in Australia later in October, India have been dealt another injury blow having also lost quick Jasprit Bumrah to injury.

Chahar was named as a reserve for the World Cup, alongside fellow seamer Mohammed Shami, though the extent of the former's injury remains unknown as he heads back to Bengaluru to be monitored.

It is not the first time Chahar has suffered injury problems having already missed six months of action this year due to fitness issues.

All-rounder Washington Sundar has been called up as Chahar's replacement for the remainder of the ODI series in South Africa.

Lockie Ferguson could miss the entire T20I tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh as New Zealand aim to protect the fast bowler's fitness for the T20 World Cup.

The 31-year-old missed last year's World Cup due to a calf tear and, after a minor abdominal injury, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has suggested Ferguson could miss the ongoing tri-series in Christchurch.

The Blackcaps are already without Daryl Mitchell after the batter fractured his hand in training on Friday, while spinner Mitchell Santner will join the squad on Sunday after a paternity break.

"Lockie has a little ab injury at the moment. We're just managing that and the most important thing is we get to the start of the World Cup and Lockie is ready to go," Stead said.

"He's a very, very important cog in our bowling line-up. Unfortunately for him, he missed last year's World Cup with the injury he had then.

"I mean we are mindful of it and we want to make sure that he's right and ready for those early games in the World Cup.

"There is that chance [of him missing the entire tri-series]. We will just see how he responds to treatment over the next few days."

Adam Milne is another Blackcaps bowler to suffer from persistent injury issues, with New Zealand aiming to rebuild the 30-year-old's fitness ahead of the World Cup later this month.

"It's the first time I've had eyes live on Milne at the nets and he looked really good," Stead said.

"We're pleased with what we are seeing there and again he is coming off a reasonably extensive injury break as well, so just managing him and making sure he's right will be the most important thing for us in these four games."

While New Zealand scramble for options in their fast-bowling department, Mitchell hopes to be back in action ahead of the first game of the T20 World Cup against Australia on October 22.

"Obviously, not ideal timing, but we've got some good news around where the fracture is in the hand and the time frame to be ready for the first game in Australia in a couple of weeks' time," Mitchell told Spark Sport on the sidelines of New Zealand's tri-series opener against Pakistan on Saturday.

"We'll do everything we can to try and be ready and fingers crossed that I'll be good to go."

England captain Jos Buttler says he is "100 per cent" fit for the T20I series with Australia after recovering from a calf injury.

Buttler suffered the injury while playing in the Hundred in August and did not take part in England's series win over Pakistan.

But he returns on Sunday against world champions Australia, where they will play three matches ahead of the World Cup.

"I'm back to 100 per cent," Buttler said. "Had a good time in Pakistan rehabbing, probably could have played earlier, but with the World Cup around the corner, it was the right thing to do."

Buttler is expected to open with either Alex Hales or Phil Salt, and he is confident in England's batting capabilities.

"We have great options at the top of the order with guys in really good form in Pakistan," he added.

"They're both excellent options. Whoever I partner with will have a great go at it."

Buttler also revealed that Liam Livingstone is a doubt for the World Cup, starting later this month.

He explained Livingstone is "a little way off at the minute", saying: "Hopefully he'll get back to full fitness before the start of the World Cup."

David Warner made a blistering half-century and Mitchell Starc starred as Australia beat West Indies by 31 runs at The Gabba to seal a 2-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash.

Holders Australia continued their preparations for the T20 World Cup on home soil with another victory in Brisbane on Friday, Warner making 75 off 41 balls and Tim David 42 from just 20 deliveries in their total of 178-7.

The Windies could only muster 147-8 in reply, Starc the pick of the bowlers with 4-20 and Pat Cummins (2-32) taking his 50th Twenty20 International wicket.

Australia will now travel to Perth for the start of a three-match T20I series against England on Sunday, while West Indies will have to come through their first-round group to qualify for a World Cup Super 12 spot.

The excellent Alzarri Joseph (3-21) dismissed Cameron Green in the second over, but Warner and Aaron Finch got Australia up to 45-1 at the end of the powerplay.

Warner raced to his half-century in 30 balls, but was caught and bowled by Odean Smith in the 12th over after captain Finch fell for a scratchy 15.

Glenn Maxwell was run out for only one and Steve Smith (17) was bowled by Joseph, but David cleared the rope three times in a swashbuckling knock to give Australia some impetus before he was trapped lbw by Obed McCoy (2-33).

Kyle Mayers was brilliantly caught and bowled by Starc in the first over of the Windies' run chase, but Johnson Charles and Brandon King steadied the ship with a stand of 50.

Adam Zampa redeemed himself for dropping Charles on two by getting King (23) stumped and Starc returned to see the back of Nicholas Pooran.

An unconvincing knock from Charles (29) was ended by Green as the wickets continued to tumble, Starc doing the bulk of the damage as Akeal Hosein's knock of 25 came with the Windies never really looking like squaring the series.


Warner sets the tone

Opener Warner was outstanding at the top of the order, laying the foundations for a total that proved to be too big for the Windies to chase down.

He demonstrated his great power and sweet timing, striking three sixes and hitting another 10 boundaries as he registered a brilliant 23rd half-century for his country in the shortest format.

Starc fires, Cummins brings up half-century

Australia will be relying on Starc to be firing on all cylinders when they attempt to retain the World Cup and he bowled beautifully in Brisbane, with a mixture of control and variety.

Cummins was more expensive, but the Test captain reached the 50 T20I wickets landmark in his 44th match.

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