Not used to being benched by the Indian team management, Mohammed Shami has seen his game-time being limited in the 50-over format over the last few matches. But, as Shami featured in the playing XI against Australia for the first ODI, the veteran pacer bagged 5 wickets, giving a fine example of the talent and skills he brings to the table. While sitting on the bench isn’t something any player enjoys, Shami said that even when he was in the playing XI, there were some players who missed out. “When I was playing regularly, there must have been someone, who had to sit out and I wasn’t guilty. So you can’t feel low if you are sitting out because the team is winning,” a pragmatic Mohammed Shami told reporters in a press conference after India’s victory over Australia in the first ODI on Friday.
The Indian team management has indicated that when it plays full strength during the upcoming World Cup, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj will be the two front-line pacers.
But after his match-winning figures of 5 for 51, Shami said that rotation isn’t a bad thing when you play so many matches on the bounce.
“This is the team’s plan and it is important to stick with it. You can’t be always in the playing XI because a lot depends on the team combination,” Shami said.
“If you are playing, well and good and if you are not in the playing XI, then you should be supportive of those, who are playing. I think there is no point feeling low and I am ready to play the role the team gives me,” Shami said as he steered clear of anything that could be remotely controversial.
He was also asked if he approves of this rotation policy where he has to sit out.
“What you are trying to know is beyond my comprehension but obviously when you build a team, (the) coach has a role to rotate players and, based on the situation, it is decided,” Shami said with a wry smile.
He made it clear that rotation before a big event like the World Cup is a good thing.
“You have seen we have (had) got results due to rotation and I believe before the World Cup, you shouldn’t put too much workload in back-to-back games, and its going well and we are getting good results.” Shami had taken a break after the World Test Championship final and he didn’t travel to the West Indies for the two Tests and three ODIs.
“It was important to take that break because I had played back-to-back games continuously for 7-8 months. At the back of my head, I felt I needed a break for a series.
“I discussed with coach (Rahul Dravid) and captain (Rohit Sharma) and took a break (from the West Indies series). But my break never seemed like a break for me because I have an elaborate training set-up at home (Sahaspur in UP’s Amroha) and I end up training more at home than when I am with the Indian team,” he stated.
He was asked if he did anything special to dismiss Steve Smith, but his answer was in the negative.
“Just tried to do my basics right and hit the top of off-stump and wait for the batters to make a mistake.” The conditions were humid and Shami was used in small spells. Could it be a template going into the World Cup? “It depends on the situation. How a partnership (is) going and how well you are bowling at that time. Sometimes, you end up bowling a six-over spell as well while sometimes you bowl only three overs.” He admitted that heat does a play role.
“The heat does play a part and we are also human beings. It takes a toll on our bodies and on stamina. But when you have played international cricket for so long, it will not affect your fitness but it depends how much effort we are putting in,” he concluded.
/ 3 years ago
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