Mohammed Shami is a highly skilled and reliable fast bowler for the Indian cricket team, who can perform exceptionally well in any condition and format. With Jasprit Bumrah out due to a back injury, Shami has stepped up as the lead bowler in the Indian pace attack. He has always been ready to take on the challenge whenever India has needed an experienced fast bowler in any format. For instance, he was a last-minute replacement for the T20 World Cup, despite not having played the format for almost a year. In Test matches at home, he has also displayed his prowess by delivering whole-hearted spells with the old ball on barren pitches.
Shami’s versatility and consistency have made him a valuable asset for the Indian team, and a delight for captains. He is one of the principal characters of India’s menacing pace battery, which has made them a force to be reckoned with in overseas conditions. His ability to swing the ball both ways, coupled with his accuracy and pace, make him a formidable opponent for any batsman.
After delivering an impressive performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Mohammed Shami wasted no time in adapting to white-ball cricket. In the first ODI against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, he unleashed a fiery spell with the ball, dismantling Australia’s middle-order by claiming the scalps of Josh Inglis, Cameron Green, and Marcus Stoinis. Shami’s remarkable figures of 3/17 in 6 overs played a pivotal role in India’s success, as they bowled Australia out for a paltry 188 on Friday.
Although India lost a few early wickets during their chase, KL Rahul (75*) and Ravindra Jadeja (45*) displayed a masterful batting performance, putting up an unbeaten century stand to guide India to a comfortable victory.
After the match, Shami was asked whether One Day International (ODI) cricket has become more challenging for bowlers due to batters taking advantage of flat pitches and attacking more aggressively. The right-arm pacer confidently stated that India, as a team, does not allow the conditions or format to dictate their performance. They firmly believe that they are the best in all conditions and formats.
“There are a lot of add-ons in white-ball cricket. You get a free hit for a no-ball and then you can’t get out too. Toh bowlers ke against mein kafi cheezein hai (There are things against the bowlers). It changes according to the format. But as far as our team is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether we are playing at home or abroad. I don’t think there is any question mark on the Indian team. Hum kisi bhi condition mein honge, hum sabse age hai. Hume kar ke bhi dikhaya hai. humne unko ghar pe jake bhi haraya hai toh apne ghar mein toh sochne ka sawal hi nahi hai (We are ahead of every team irrespective of the conditions. We have shown it in the past too. We have beaten them in their backyard so there is no question of worrying when we are playing at home),” Shami told reporters in Mumbai.
Shami expressed his delight in witnessing Rahul’s pivotal contribution with the bat, especially after a prolonged period of struggle and criticism from various sources. It is truly gratifying to witness Rahul’s perseverance and determination finally pay off on the field.
“He has played so many good innings in the past. It happens sometimes that luck does not favour you, or things are not working out well if you are trying to do something,” Shami said.
“The pressure (on Rahul) was certainly there, we had lost so many wickets in quick succession but the way he rebuilt, it was very nice to see that one of our players has made runs in a pressure situation,” Shami added.
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