Mohammed Shami hasn’t had the best of returns to the Indian setup, with figures of 1/67, 0/43, 2/20 and 1/69 in the four games that he has played in the 50-over format. But on Saturday (January 21), the right-arm pacer turned his fortunes around with one of the best spells at home for India, finishing with figures of 3/18.
While two of his wickets came pretty much early on in the innings, the pacer insisted that the conditions weren’t as good as the score suggested for the bowlers. However, having said that, the 32-year-old reckoned that he consciously puts in the effort to talk to his teammates.
“Conditions weren’t that good as you saw. It was a fiery wicket but you had to bowl on the right length to exploit in these conditions. I have always had a word with the other bowlers, because I know that the other bowler has put in efforts but despite that, the results are not in place. So, if you talk to someone, it might help him bowl better,” said Shami.
Shami stands on the other end of the workload management, stating that he would love to play as many games as possible ahead of a marquee tournament, which helps him to be match ready.
“I’d prefer to play as many games because that prepares me best for any tournament. The management are managing everyone’s workload, not just mine. I hope that our main players are always in the zone,” he added.
Despite making his debut way back in 2013, Shami’s role in the Indian team has been elevated to becoming one of the key bowlers. But the 32-year-old believes that there hasn’t been a whole lot of change in his role. At the same time, Shami was insistent that he is working on his fitness, as he aims to contribute more for the Indian team.
“My role in the Indian team is the same, it has been the same since I have started playing for the country. The only thing I’m working is on my fitness to contribute for the India team in the upcoming series and the World Cup at home.”
“I don’t think people still doubt our bowling attack. But even after that you have your doubts for the World Cup, there is a long time to go. We have so many players to try out, so many games to be played.
With no Jasprit Bumrah, India are severely crippled in the bowling department but Shami feels elsewise. The right-arm pacer believes that it presents an opportunity for the others.
“Big players (Bumrah) is always missed but it doesn’t mean that we can stop playing if not for the main players. I wish him a speedy recovery and our team will become stronger. I wish he joins the Indian setup as soon as possible.
With a 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, the third ODI presents an interesting situation for the management who can rest their key players. Shami said that it won’t be a bad call to give some players a well-deserved break.
“I think the management will take a call on the playing XI for the third ODI. But if we have won the series, I don’t think it would be a bad call to give some players a rest. Team management will have to take the call on that.”