Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami (Facebook)

Mohammed Shami, the veteran Indian pacer, was asked if the Indian team was on the right track for the ODI World Cup this year. He gave a straightforward response. Mohammed Shami made the ball talk on Saturday against New Zealand in the second ODI in Raipur.

He took three wickets and formed a lethal bowling partnership with the likes of Mohammed Siraj, and Hardik Pandya. The seamer registered bowling figures of 3/18 off six overs of bowling. Featuring in the side as the senior-most bowler and in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami suggested that his role in the current side wasn’t any more different to what he has been used to since the inception of his India career.

Mohammed Shami in press conference after 2nd ODI vs New Zealand© BCCI/Sportzpics
Mohammed Shami in a press conference after 2nd ODI vs New Zealand© BCCI/Sportzpics

Mohammed Shami Doesn’t Have Doubt Over The Indian Team As They Are Giving Good Results In Past 4-6 Years And There’s Time Left For ODI World Cup 2023

Courtesy of the Indian bowlers’ might, New Zealand were reduced to 15/5 at one stage. The Blackcaps somewhat recovered to put up a 108-run total, which the Indian team chased down in 20.1 overs. Courtesy of the win, India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series against New Zealand.

After the match, Mohammed Shami was asked at a press conference whether Team India was on the right track to build a team ahead of the ODI World Cup, to be held at home later this year.

Shami replied: ” (See, I don’t think people have doubt over the Indian team. We have been giving good results in past 4-6 years. If still have any doubts, we have a lot of time left for the World Cup. We have many series for match practice. We have more time to know players. We have time so it’s better to take it match-to-match).”

Speaking on how sure the Indian team was on its first-choice XI, Mohammed Shami said that combinations and permutations were still in the making and that people shouldn’t doubt this squad. India’s player of the match against New Zealand in the second ODI felt like the team’s performance in recent times hasn’t warranted the skepticism that has followed the team in a World Cup year.

In the aftermath of a thumping eight-wicket win over the visitors on Saturday in Raipur, Mohammed Shami responded to being asked whether the Indian team is sure of its first choice XI for the upcoming World Cup. Mohammed Shami’s comments came following India’s seventh successive ODI series win at home, a run maintained since the 2-3 loss to Australia ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

Stifling Test-match style bowling from Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj caused the early damage, after India won the toss, to reduce New Zealand to 9 for 3. Hardik Pandya bowled three maidens and picked up 2 for 16 from six overs as New Zealand slipped to 15 for 5, with their top five falling in single digits, after 10.3 overs before they recovered somewhat.

Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma
Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma (Credits: Twitter)

Talking about the match, India’s relentless pace attack ran through a fragile New Zealand batting line-up as the hosts cantered to an eight-wicket win in the second ODI to seal the three-match series on Saturday. The Mohammed Shami-led attack produced an incisive effort to bowl out New Zealand for a meagre 108 before India knocked off the runs in 20.1 overs. Rohit Sharma hit a sublime 50 off 51 balls while Shubman Gill remained unbeaten on 40 off 53 deliveries.

Mohammed Shami And Mohammed Siraj Made Life Tough For Visitors New Zealand As Their High Quality Seam Bowling Reduced Them To 15/5 At One Stage

It was an emphatic win but the sea of fans that had flocked the remotely located Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium for Raipur’s first international game was left wanting for more due to the early finish. Mohammed Shami (3/18) and Mohammed Siraj (1/10) made life tough for the batters with their high-quality seam bowling reducing New Zealand to a dismal 15 for five after Rohit Sharma opted to bowl.

Mohammed Siraj has been a regular fixture in the Indian cricket team in recent times.© BCCI
Mohammed Siraj has been a regular fixture in the Indian cricket team in recent times.© BCCI
Photo by Pankaj Nangia / Sportzpics for BCCI

The odd ball stopping made the New Zealand batters’ job tougher though the Indian openers made batting look easy in the evening. The third and final ODI will be played in Indore on Tuesday.