Prefer playing matches over practice: Mohammed Shami

RAIPUR: At a time when Jasprit Bumrah has been unavailable, the reassuring presence of Mohammed Shami is extremely vital in India’s ODI set-up. On Saturday, Shami proved his worth yet again, destroying the opposition’s top-order.
Swinging the ball like a banana while slipping in the odd bouncer, he could have added to his tally, and perhaps bagged a fifer too, but the Kiwis folded up way too early. There was some help for the Indian seamers on a pitch which was still a bit damp, but Shami and Co. still deserve credit for bowling a nagging line and length.
“The conditions were not as good as it seemed. They got out early, but conditions were not overtly bowler friendly. We dismissed them cheaply by bowling a testing length,” Shami said.
On being quizzed about his role in the team now, Shami said: “My role hasn’t changed since I have come into the team. The only thing is to keep working on the fitness and diet. We have got big events coming up, so the aim is to contribute in every game.” There’s a bit of Zaheer Khan in Shami.


Apart from swinging the ball to all corners, Shami, like ‘Zak,’ loves to play as many matches as possible. Match practice, he believes, is the key to finding the right rhythm.


Asked how he would manage his workload in a year which will soon see a four-Test series against Australia, a possible WTC Final and the ODI World Cup, Shami said, “I always prefer playing matches over practice. It is always better to play maximum numbers of games to get ready for a big event. The workload is being managed properly. I just hope the main players stay in a good zone ahead of the World Cup.”
Like most seniors, Shami seems to have been eased out of India’s T20 side. In the other two formats, though, he still remains India’s go-to bowler and has plenty left in the tank. If he keeps firing like he did on Saturday, India will have plenty to cheer about.

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