Mohammed Shami is one of the finest right arm pacers to ever produce and plays for the Indian national cricket team. He hails from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, India. Ever since the lockdown was declared Shami has been stationed at his sprawling ancestral home in Sahaspur and has training during these troubling times. Indian ace pacer is of the opinion that he has an upper hand over his team mates who are stationed in the metro city and as they don’t have the luxury to train outdoors.
Shami has been training at his ancestral home in a mini ground which is equipped with full facility to do net practice. Whenever the BCCI renews the camps, Shami is of the opinion that he will have an upper hand over his teammates. He was quoted saying “Obviously I will have an advantage as I have been training quite regularly. This is different from an injury-induced break. I have been in good rhythm, and luckily, I don’t feel any stiffness while bowling full tilt. This is a phase when you always know that you are there and it’s a matter of time to get that rhythm back. It bolsters your confidence.”
Seeing the current coronavirus pandemic in mind, ICC has banned players to shine the cricket ball. There has been a lot of debate in the cricket fraternity on how it will put bowlers at a disadvantage as they won’t be able to generate swing. Shami spoke on this topic “If you don’t get proper conditions, you can’t try bowling with old ball. I will tell you why. In the nets, the old ball that you use is the one that’s kept in a box for a few days, it will behave differently from a ball that’s getting old after continuous use in a match situation. Because a ball that gets old in a match situation is maintained throughout the course of the innings.”
He further added “The old ball that you suddenly bring out for practice will have a softer feel of the leather and that creates a difference. So, if you are looking at answers, you will only get it in a match simulation. So my next target during training is to start with a new ball and try to maintain it without saliva and then figure out how it behaves when it gets old. I will have to bowl with it and after may be 20 overs when the batsman has faced it, then you get an idea how the ball behaves.”
Shami admits the breaking the habit of using saliva isn’t an easy task and was quoted saying “Yes, its a conditioned reflex, so obviously I am forgetting at times but luckily stopping before I apply it on the ball,” he laughed. “So it’s a good thing that whenever I am training, I become very conscious and say, ‘no, I can’t use saliva’. The discipline is slowly coming.”
He is one of the lethal weapons in the arsenal of Indian Cricket Caption, Virat Kohli and regularly bowls around the 140 to 145 km/h and swings and seams ball at that pace which makes him a deceivingly effective fast bowler. He also is the fastest Indian to take 100 wickets in ODIs and has 136 wickets to his name with an impressive economy rate of 5.5. Shami made his test debut against West Indies in Kolkata on November 6, 2013. He took the cricket community by storm by picking up d 9 wickets in the match, with a 5-wicket haul in the second innings. He also helped India won the match by an innings and 51 runs. Shami has taken 175 wickets in 91 innings of 470 matches at an average of 27.1 and an economy rate of 3.31.