Fast bowler, Mohammed Shami, is currently being regarded as the finest fast bowler in the Indian Team. He is one bowler who has the ability to bowl fast yet swing the ball maintaining a good line and length. Though he has had a few injuries in his career so far, the 26-year old has done well with the ball and taken wickets regularly for his team. In the recent past, Shami has done exceptionally well in the longest format of the game because of his capabilities of extracting extra bounce from the pitch and reverse swing the old cherry.
Before, slight niggle in Knee, Mohammed Shami looked at his very best against England Series, however Shami's bowling coach reckons he was rested as precautionary measure and there is nothing serious about his Injury. Mohammed Shami, talking exclusively to Times Of India reveals few anecdotes from Inside the dressing room.
Talking about his Knee injury, Shami told, TOI, "I've reached a stage when even if there's the slightest of discomfort, it's easy to identify it. A slight swelling, the least bit of pain and you know that you need to get it checked. Playing at that level helps you immensely because the longer you play, the easier it becomes for you to connect with your body."
He further added, "After the Rajkot match, I could see a bit of swelling on the knee and I immediately brought it to the coach's notice and spoke to the captain. The better thing to do in such scenarios is to avoid any kind of risk"
Mohammed Shami felt the swelling after the First, but he continued till Mohali Test, speaking on which, Shami explains, "Yes, I do have an idea of how long and how much can I continue. In many ways, I'm blessed with adequate mental strength and that helps. So, yes, after a good look at the knee, it was decided that I could pull on a bit and after we took the 2-0 lead, I felt I could take a break."
It wasn't the first time, Shami had bowled despite being injured and suffering from intense pain, as in 2015 World Cup, Shami was injured and despite that fact bowled well, as he talks about his experience, Shami adds, "See, a fast bowler's career is always going to be riddled with injuries. The sooner the bowler realises this, the better it is. Once you realise this, there are two aspects to consider: First is how to train your body to deal with these injuries and how well you begin to understand the recovery process. But in my opinion, the second aspect is far more crucial"
Speaking on how he manages to comfort himself despite bowling in pain, Shami adds, "Maybe I'm a bit of a unique case. I've taken steroids and injections to bowl through pain. I've done it in the past. I took pain killers and bowled in Australia last year. These processes are extremely painful."
Talking about his recovery phase, Shami adds, "I'd say horses for courses. I would like to believe that my ability to bear with pain is stronger. I can bear pain. So, yes, when you're bowling in pain, there's always a great deal of tension if the injury might get worse. But the ability to bear with pain allows me to keep going. Maybe the whole motivation that you're doing this for your country is what keeps you going."
Being on national duty most of the time means you are spending time away from your family, we have seen in past, even MS Dhoni was able to attend his child's birth, speaking on which, Shami adds, "For cricketers, it's always about being on the move. Take my example, for instance. My daughter is 16 months old now. She's started to babble already. I try to connect with them on the phone as much as I can, keep trying to communicate with her. At some point of time, it is bound to get difficult. So, there are different emotional stages that each individual goes through. For each it is different. But there's a common thread. You've got to do what you've got to do. It's all about maintaining a balance."
He further adds, "Maybe I'm not exactly the socialising kind, of course never a show-off. I don't like that. I know that Allah has blessed me with something special. I respect that. I like to share it with people who are dear to me -- my family and my teammates who are also like my family. Whenever I'm with either family, I am very comfortable. That doesn't mean I don't understand that there's a great deal of emotion involved between a player-fan relationship"
BCCI, recently has come under alot of scrutiny after Lodha Panel gate, however, for cricketers, BCCI is always been able to provide best of the facility, speaking on which Mohammed Shami reckons BCCI is very supportive, "The BCCI has been extremely supporting. They take care of the players very well and we don't have to worry the least bit. Every kind of facility, whether it's going through the medical process or rehab or anything else. All I'd like to see happening is if a more elaborate calendar can be prepared in order to manage workload of bowlers."
Speaking on unity among Team India, Shami adds, "Whether it was under MS earlier, or now under Virat, the best thing to have happened to this bunch is that we all stand by each other. The camaraderie in this team is outstanding and it's there for everybody to see. We can say what we want to each other, agree, disagree and it's all within the family. That's where life becomes so beautiful, these small things fall in place."
Speaking on famous Alastair Cook dismissal at Viskhapatnam, Shami adds, "Cook doesn't like to play away from the body but if you make him play it, I realised, he does lend his bat. He likes to go for his shots. In Vizag, that was at the top of my mind. I kept moving the ball away from him and it became a game of patience. I was to see when I could do anything different. He hadn't settled yet. He expected that ball to move away and it came in a little sharply. The ball that broke the stump. You asked me whether I like to celebrate, right? That was one of those moments."
He Further adds, "Root was another example. Same match, but in the second innings. He was playing within the crease and I realised I needed to bowl a little fuller. It helped that there was a bit of swing and I made the shiny side dip in. At first the umpire didn't give him out but we were confident and we reviewed it. He was gone."
Concluding on what matters to him most apart from Cricket, Shami adds, "Outside of cricket, diet and sleep are what matter most to me. When I go to my village in Uttar Pradesh and my mom gives me my favourite dishes, I have to say no. It took me time, but finally I've developed the mental strength to not look at the food."
He further concludes, "Oh yes. With my wife and my 16-month daughter in Kolkata and my village, where my parents and my brothers live, where I come from. I'll never forget where I come from. I'm sitting here in my hotel room in Bengaluru, and trying to communicate with my daughter. She's begun to babble. It's so much fun. That's where my heart lies."