Mohammed Shami is a charismatic and skilled cricketer, and there are few who can equal him on the international stage. The excitement around Shami’s recent performance in the India vs. Australia ODI series is a reflection of his exceptional abilities and commitment to the sport.
Mohammed Shami isn’t accustomed to being benched by the Indian team’s management, therefore he’s been frustrated by his reduced playing time in the 50-over format recently. The experienced bowler did not let everyone down when he was ultimately selected to start the opening ODI against Australia. By taking five wickets, he impressed the cricket world and inspired widespread admiration. The fact that Shami can immediately create an impression is one of the many reasons why he is so vital to the Indian cricket squad.
Shami is a realist, acknowledging that no athlete appreciates time on the bench. He is well aware of the importance of team chemistry and dynamics in fast-paced sports like cricket. When he was a regular player, someone had to sit out, and he says he isn’t to blame. Since the team is winning, being on the bench shouldn’t make you feel bad. His selflessness in prioritising the team’s success above his own is evident here.
The Indian coaching staff has said that Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj would be the two main strike bowlers when the squad is at full strength in the 2023 World Cup. However, the rotation approach has been called into question after Shami’s match-winning numbers of 5 for 51. Shami, always one to put the team first, stresses the need to follow the established strategy.
Shami said: “When I was playing regularly, there must have been someone, who had to sit out and I wasn’t guilty. So you can’t feel low if you are sitting out because the team is winning. This is the team’s plan and it is important to stick with it. You can’t be always in the playing XI because a lot depends on the team combination. If you are playing, well and good and if you are not in the playing XI, then you should be supportive of those, who are playing. I think there is no point feeling low and I am ready to play the role the team gives me.”
Shami’s mature perspective includes cheering for his teammates. Even when he is not on the pitch himself, he firmly believes in cheering on the rest of the team.
Shami doesn’t lose his cool when questioned about his thoughts on the rotation policy. He agrees that player rotation is a tactic used by team management and that its implementation is context-dependent. Shami stresses the importance of rotating players in and out before a huge competition like the World Cup.
“What you are trying to know is beyond my comprehension but obviously when you build a team, (the) coach has a role to rotate players and, based on the situation, it is decided,” Shami said with a wry smile.