Mohammed Shami preparing for long haul in India’s tour of Australia

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Written by Shamik Chakrabarty
| Kolkata |

Nov. 23, 2020, 12:43 a.m.


Mohammed Shami took 16 wickets in four tests two years ago, during the triumphant tour of India in 2018-19. (File)

After about a week in quarantine in Sydney, the Indian team now trains every day before competitions against Australia. Three ODIs and three T20Is will precede a series of four tests. As for Mohammed shami, he focuses more on red ball cricket.

“We’re going to have a long tour starting with the white ball followed by testing the pink and red ball. My area of ​​focus has been the red ball and I’m working on my lengths and movement of my seams, ”Shami told bcci.tv.

The first ODI in Sydney takes place on November 27, while the first test in Adelaide, a day-night, begins on December 17. For the past two and a half months, Shami has been playing white ball cricket in India. The Premier League (IPL) and the limited part of the Australian tour will be a kind of continuation.

Length is the key

Ace of rhythm Mohammed Shami is currently focusing on red ball cricket. (File)

Adelaide’s test will be played with a pink ball, which swings more than its red variant. The next three tests, in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane respectively, are traditional red ball encounters. For a bowler, especially a pacemaker, the length adjustment will be important.

“I’ve always thought that once you start throwing the ball at the length you want, you can be successful in different formats. You need control. I did well with the white ball and now I spend some time in the net playing with the red ball. You don’t play in the same area since the two formats are different, but your bases don’t change much, ”said Shami.

Fast learner

His first tour of Australia in 2014-2015 was not very successful, although Shami was the biggest box-taker in India with 15 scalps in three tests. A newcomer at the time, he was still learning the ropes of handling the red Kookaburra, and his length was not constant. Two years ago, on the triumphant tour of India in 2018-19, he won 16 wickets in four tests and his series average was 26.18 compared to more than 35 in 2014-15. Last time around, he played a lot more, threw the ball around and was awarded. Shami targeted a few batsmen with bouncers, but instead used it as a shock weapon.

Some fast bowlers, especially from the subcontinent, tend to get a little carried away on the hard, bouncy Australian courts and resort to a short bowling overdose in Test Cricket. At 30, Shami is now one of the senior bowlers in the group, and India’s chances will depend to a large extent on how he and Jasprit Bumrah fare together.

Then again, even for a bowler with Shami’s experience, it’s not easy to instantly switch from cue ball length to its Test-match equivalent. So it’s no wonder he is focusing on red ball cricket at the moment.

Right after IPL

Kings XI Punjab, ipl live score, ipl 2020, kxip vs rr, kxip vs rr live score, live cricket, cricket streaming, kxip points, kxip points table, Indian Express Mohammed Shami in action for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020 (File)

It is very likely that the management of the Indian team will turn him and Bumrah in the limited matches. However, Shami will go to the Test Series still carrying the confidence of a very good IPL for Kings XI Punjab.

He won 20 wickets in the tournament, but more than that number, his bowling in the Super Over against the Mumbai Indians was considered one of the highlights of the IPL.

“Being able to defend only 5 points against the two most explosive batsmen (Rohit sharma and Quinton de Kock) is quite satisfactory. My performance for KXIP in IPL gave me a lot of confidence and put me in the right area. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden for me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling alley and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew the IPL would come sooner or later and I was preparing for it, ”Shami said.

He compared it (Super Over) to their hat-trick against Afghanistan in last year’s World Cup, which helped India to a victory in close competition. “The margin was much smaller in the shock of the World Cup against Afghanistan. I had to be right about my Yorkers. We were favorites to win and the match went to the end. I am happy that I was able to help India win this match and in the course I also got my hat-trick. Such moments accompany you for a long time. “

A well-balanced attack

Ian Bishop, Jasprit Bumrah, Jasprit Bumrah goes out in the West Indies, jasprit bumrah run up, jasprit bumrah pace, Indian bowling attack, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, cricket news Shami and Bumrah will be shot during the White Balloon series. (File)

Statistics released by BCCI show the supremacy of Indian fast bowlers over the past two years. Since 2018, India’s fast bowlers have taken 292 wickets in 24 games at an average of 21.33. The trio of Bumrah (68), Shami (61) and Ishant sharma (53) accounted for 182 scalps over the past two years. Shami attributed the success to the “camaraderie” in the bowling group.

“The success of this group is largely due to the camaraderie we share among ourselves. There is no real secret as such, but it lies in one’s strengths. We have a common goal and we all seek to achieve it collectively. There is healthy competition but there is no rivalry within the group.

“If you look at the numbers, we were able to choose 20 wickets almost on all of our tours away. Even at home in the Freedom Trophy or the Pink-Ball Test, the fast bowling group was very effective. We have a lot of discussions between us. We hunt in pairs. “

Two years ago, Australia without Steve smith and David warner have been exhausted. They will be at full power this time around and the challenge will be greater. Shami is a game.

“Our fast bowling group can go over 140 km / h and you need that kind of pace in Australia. Even our reserves are fast, you don’t see that kind of attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We also have variety in our bowling spin attacks. We can play fast but we are all different, our skills are different.

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