Uncapped all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed has earned his first Team India call-up, with Washington Sundar ruled out of the upcoming three-match One-Day International series against Zimbabwe. The latter has been dealing with injuries for some time and was a player to keep an eye on in the upcoming series. However, a shoulder injury suffered while playing in a County game in England has delayed his return to the international team.
Ahmed, 27, represents Bengal in domestic cricket and has been a member of Royal Challengers Bangalore since the IPL 2020. In the final overs, the batting all-rounder can hit the ball long, and his left-arm spin makes him an even more valuable asset. His all-around abilities in this year’s IPL impressed everyone, and he finally received his first call-up to the national team. “The All-India Senior Selection Committee named Shahbaz Ahmed as the replacement for Washington Sundar for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. Washington Sundar injured his shoulder while playing a County game in England. He has been ruled out of the Zimbabwe tour. India will play the first ODI against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on August 18, 2022,” stated BCCI in an official statement.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz has averaged 47.28 in 26 List-A matches and even has a couple of centuries to his name. In terms of bowling, he has 24 scalps in the 50-over format, with an economy rate of less than 4.5. These are certainly impressive numbers, and it will be interesting to see whether the Indian team management gives him a chance. Aside from Ahmed, the other designated all-rounders in the squad are Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Axar Patel.
Here’s India’s squad for 3 ODIs: KL Rahul (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed.