The 29-year-old Indian right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami recently talked about the pros and cons of the ongoing long break from the game. He also gave his view on the interim banning of applying saliva into the ball.
While recently the Indian national cricket team has mostly performed well in the international cricket, the pacers played the very crucial roles in those successes. The right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami is one of the crucial members of this strong pace bowling line-up.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many cricket schedules have been postponed for the indefinite period, and the Indian team hasn’t played an international match since last February. Moreover, the IPL 2020 was also postponed for the indefinite period due to the same issue.
Mohammed Shami feels that this break is good to grow up physically, and it also helps to make him fitter and stronger with a lot of training. However, he has also pointed out that the rhythm is missing due to the absence of the game.
Shami told PTI in a recent interview, “There are two ways to look at it. The Indian team always has a packed schedule and it was a good break which allowed a tired body to heal.
“While on one side, you gain physically, become fitter and stronger with a lot of training but not playing the sport means that at the same time the rhythm is not there. Obviously, it’s something where you will find the difference. So there are pros and cons and its about managing your body.”
Obviously, I will have an advantage as I have been training quite regularly: Mohammed Shami
Shami is confident enough that he will have an advantage when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will start a camp as he is training regularly.
The right-arm fast bowler claimed, “Obviously I will have an advantage as I have been training quite regularly. This is different from an injury-induced break. I have been in good rhythm, and luckily, I don’t feel any stiffness while bowling full tilt. This is a phase when you always know that you are there and it’s a matter of time to get that rhythm back. It bolsters your confidence.”
While international cricket has just returned with the ongoing Southampton Test between England and West Indies, which started on this Wednesday (8th July), it is following the interim changes of ICC regulations. One of the crucial changes is banning of applying saliva into the ball.
When Shami was asked whether he tried the old balls without using saliva in the recent net practice, the right-arm fast bowler clarified why it could be not a proper practice to follow it at the nets immediately.
Shami said, “No, I haven’t. If you don’t get proper conditions, you can’t try bowling with an old ball. I will tell you why…
“In the nets, the old ball that you use is the one that”s kept in a box for a few days, it will behave differently from a ball that”s getting old after continuous use in a match situation. Because a ball that gets old in a match situation is maintained throughout the course of the innings. The old ball that you suddenly bring out for practice will have a softer feel of the leather and that creates a difference. So, if you are looking at answers, you will only get it in match simulation.”
Shami also further added that he would try to experience it soon at the nets when the fresh new balls would get older without using saliva.
He continued, “So my next target during training is to start with a new ball and try to maintain it without saliva and then figure out how it behaves when it gets old. I will have to bowl with it and after maybe 20 overs when the batsman has faced it, then you get an idea how the ball behaves.”
The discipline is slowly coming: Mohammed Shami on not using saliva
Mohammed Shami also admitted that earlier he was forgetting the saliva ban rules due to his long practice, but he is now coming into the discipline on it slowly.
Shami said, “Yes, its a conditioned reflex, so obviously I am forgetting at times but luckily stopping before I apply it on the ball. So it’s a good thing that whenever I am training, I become very conscious and say, ”no, I can’t use saliva”. The discipline is slowly coming.”
Shami is still unsure whether the older ball reverses without applying saliva into the ball or not.
He answered, “People are asking me this question, but honestly, I have no answer. Because it’s a habit and a theory we have all believed and practised since our starting years. So, once we start trying, we will know better.”
Praising India’s workload management, Mohammed Shami is now desperate to return to the game as soon as possible.