India’s pace attack has emerged as one of the most formidable fast bowling quartets across the globe and it is spearheaded by the duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Bumrah is undoubtedly India’s finest bowler in the shorter format of the game while Shami has been the pennant-bearer of excellence for India in red-ball cricket.
Now with the current workload that the Indian cricket team has been carrying forth, it becomes very challenging for a player to continue with their scintillating brilliance across all formats of the sport.
To add to the woes of a player, it has been compounded with the ever-looming bio-bubble that makes life a lot more difficult with all his contacts with the external world being cut short.
Mohammed Shami is at a very crucial juncture of his life where his figures in Test cricket have been through the roof that has stayed witness to several remarkable feats on the road. His 8 for 107 against South at Centurion, 4 for 95 against England at Leeds, 4 for 100 against England at Nottingham, 4 for 107 against New Zealand in the WTC final are simply examples of how far he has come.
However, despite his attempts to stay relevant in all formats of the sport, this is taking a toll on his body and mind. For a cricketer who has been through a lot and made one of the most resonating comebacks in the roster of international cricket, it will always be easier for him to carry on with all formats of the sport.
However, what matters the most to India is the optimum performance that one can squeeze out and not just a headcount. It has been more than a year since Shami played an ODI. However, the figures returned by him were downright woeful. He leaked 73 runs against Australia. His figures in the recently concluded T20 World Cup were also questionable as he let go of several runs irrespective of the opposition.
The question here is simple. Is he over-working himself? We are all aware of the fact that one needs rest to sharpen his skills, especially at such a level where the competition is cutthroat. One small slip and can shortly turn into a landslide. If Shami is indeed overworking himself, he needs to take a step back and think.
The way India has performed in Test cricket, it is important that they have their best remain in the pink of their physical and mental health. However, if there is a clash of schedules and with the intensity with which India plays in the international roster alongside the IPL in between, life becomes a lot more difficult.
Maybe it’s time for Shami to rethink the workload that he has been taking. He would definitely want his Test sharpness to continue and will he be making a call about it that can actually help him improve his Test bowling even further?
Now Shami may have an eye for the upcoming World Cups but only time will tell if his body is equipped enough to move forth with the same zeal that he is bowling in Tests now or will there be sacrifices?