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It isn't possible you'll always be part of team combinations: Shami

Last updated on 23 Sep 2023 | 04:38 AM
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It isn't possible you'll always be part of team combinations: Shami

Most certainly, Sahmi will be rested from the playing XI for the ICC World Cup 2023 if India decide to go with Shardul Thakur, whose batting has come in handy for the side

Mohammed Shami has undeniably been one of India's premier exponents of swing bowling, consistently being a key component of the bowling attack over the years. In a recent return to the side, with Mohammed Siraj being rested, Shami once again showcased his immense value by securing a five-wicket haul in the first ODI against Australia in Mohali

Looking ahead to the ICC World Cup 2023, it's highly likely that Shami might be rested for the opening game if India opts for Shardul Thakur, who has proven to be a valuable asset with his batting skills on multiple occasions. However, this doesn't deter Shami, who understands the importance of considering team combinations.

"This is a part and parcel of the game. It's important to understand the team's needs. It isn't possible that you'll always be part of the playing XI and team combinations. When we play regularly, someone or the other will have to sit out. There is no point being frustrated about it. Obviously, it's good if you're in the XI, but it's also crucial to be understanding when on the bench. That role is also very important," Shami said at the press conference after India's five-wicket win.

"The idea from the team management is to rotate according to the conditions and the situation or depending on the opposition. They know how to handle it, and if you see, the recent results have been quite good. The rotation is going smoothly, and before the World Cup, I don't think anyone should be burdened a lot.

"It's good for us because rotating pacers is key in such conditions. It's more important for bowlers, not that it's easier for batters, but still. Rotation is important, especially before ICC tournaments. It particularly helps those who haven't been in rhythm to get some much-needed game time," said Shami.

Even if you forget the bigger picture, from a Mohali ODI standpoint, Shami had one of the best days on the field in his ODI career. Despite that, he didn’t take all the credit for himself. In a typical Shami style, he credited the performance to the combined effort of the pace-bowling unit.

"It's satisfying as a bowler when you find rhythm on a surface that isn't naturally responsive to you. These things change your momentum, and if you've noticed the Indian attack over the last few years, you will notice that we always help each other out. If I take wickets, then Bumrah will be stopping runs at the other end. This kind of partnership bowling is very important. Someone will take more wickets than the other on a particular day, but the supporting roles remain equally crucial," the 33-year-old pacer added.

Early in the game, Shami and Shardul Thakur both faced challenges coping with the intense heat in Mohali. This signaled a tough day in the field, especially with only five bowling options in the playing XI. Shami acknowledged the grueling conditions and the need for brief breaks despite his reliance on rhythm as a primary weapon.

"I've always been in rhythm whenever I have come back to the team. But yes, that break was needed as I had been playing regularly for seven to eight months. I felt like I needed a break, and I discussed that with the captain and coach. 

“But my rest is never technically rest as my preparation happens a lot more while I'm at my home. There is a whole setup there for practice and conditioning. We never talk much about this (extreme heat) with respect to tactics. It totally depends on the state of the game if we are to bowl long or short spells. Heat is definitely a factor, but when you've been playing international cricket for so long, it cannot be an excuse. 

“It doesn't mean a player's fitness has fallen or he is struggling. Players are also human. It also depends on how much effort you're putting in. Sometimes, if the surface isn't responsive enough, you have to put that much extra as a fast bowler, and that makes a difference."

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