India fast bowler Mohammed Shami is a doubtful starter for Gujarat Titans in IPL 2024. ESPNcricinfo has learnt that Shami is likely to undergo ankle surgery, potentially just before the tournament, which would rule him out of most if not all of it. The IPL will be played between March 22 and May 26 this year.
Shami has not played any cricket since India’s defeat in the World Cup final against Australia on November 19. He had been nursing his ankle throughout that tournament, but still finished as its highest wicket-taker with 24 strikes.
Should he be ruled out for any length of time, Titans will be going into the new campaign without two key players, having already seen Hardik Pandya move to Mumbai Indians. Shami was their highest wicket-taker in their title winning 2022 season, with 20 strikes in 16 matches, and he was the overall highest wicket-taker last year with 28 strikes in 17 matches.

Shami had been taking injections to treat his ankle during the World Cup and continued to do so even after the tournament. While he was not named in India’s white-ball squads for the tour of South Africa that followed, Shami was expected to return for the two-match Test series. But, on December 16, in the only medical update provided on the senior fast bowler, the BCCI said Shami’s “participation” in the South Africa Test series had been “subject to fitness” and since he “has not been cleared” by the BCCI medical staff, he was ruled out of contention.

Early in January, Shami said he had “stiffness” in the ankle but he was hoping he would be ready for selection for the home Tests against England. “My rehabilitation is well on track and the medical experts at NCA are happy with my progress,” he told the Times of India. “There is slight stiffness in my ankle but that’s fine. I have started my training sessions and I believe I will be able to make a comeback in the England series.”

However, Shami did not feature in either of the India squads put out by the Ajit Agarkar-led panel, initially for the first two Tests against England and recently for the final three Tests of the series.

On January 22, Shami was in Hyderabad at the BCCI awards following which he reportedly travelled overseas to consult specialists about his ankle. It is understood that he will be visiting a surgeon next week before taking a final call on the matter.

While the BCCI’s medical team has been monitoring Shami, he has not been at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, which is where contracted cricketers normally do their rehab. It could not be confirmed whether the BCCI or Shami had kept Titans in the loop on his recovery timeline. Neither the BCCI nor Titans have made any public statements about him recently.



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