Rotation helps before ICC tournaments: Mohammed Shami

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Mohali After playing a stellar role in India’s five-wicket win over Australia with his second five-wicket haul in the first ODI, veteran fast bowler Mohammed Shami strongly favored the rotation policy adopted by the team management ahead of the men’s ODI. He said that this helps those players who have not been able to find their rhythm to play for some time.

On a two-paced pitch at the PCA Stadium, Shami set the tone by dismissing Mitchell Marsh early, then returned to dismiss Steve Smith and dismiss Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Short and Sean Abbott to send Australia into a late collapse. He took 5-51 and bowled out Australia for 276.

Shami said in the post-match press conference, “When you make a team, the coach has a role in rotating the players and it is decided depending on the situation. You must have seen that we have got results because of rotation and I believe that before the World Cup you should not put too much pressure by playing two consecutive matches. At present, it is going well and we are getting good results.

“It is good for us because in such conditions (before the World Cup) it is important to rotate the fast bowlers. It is more important for the bowlers, not that it is easy for the batsmen but still. Rotation is especially important for the ICC This is important before tournaments. This especially helps those who have the ‘I’m not in rhythm’ to get some much-needed gametime in.”

It was the second consecutive time an Indian fast bowler took five wickets after Mohammed Siraj took six wickets in a lethal spell in the Asia Cup final in Colombo as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Shami, playing in place of the resting Siraj, felt bowling in extreme heat was not a problem for him, however he walked off the field after bowling four overs.

“We never talk much about this (bowling in extreme heat) in terms of strategy. It completely depends on the game situation whether we have to bowl long or short spells, such as the opposition batsmen. How are you? Heat is definitely a factor but it can’t be an excuse when you have been playing international cricket for so long.

”This does not mean that any player’s fitness or stamina has dropped or that he is struggling. Players are also humans. It also depends on how much effort you are putting in. Sometimes, if the surface is not responsive enough, you have to put in that much extra effort as a fast bowler and that makes the difference of an over or two. However, it all depends on the field conditions.”

Shami also credited the support he received from fast bowling attack leader Jasprit Bumrah, who took one wicket for 43 runs in his ten overs. “As a bowler it is satisfying when you find rhythm on a surface that is not naturally reactive to you. These things change your pace and if you have paid attention to the Indian bowling attack over the last few years, So you’ll see we always help each other.”

“If I take wickets, Bumrah will be stopping runs at the other end. This kind of partnership bowling is very important. One will take more wickets than the other on a particular day, but the supporting roles will also be equally important.”

Shami said the decision to skip the West Indies tour helped him refresh himself after a very hectic period of playing across all formats.

“Whenever I have come back, my bowling has had the same rhythm. I needed a break because I played cricket continuously for seven-eight months. In my mind, I felt that I needed to take a break from the series (against West Indies), which was decided after discussions with the captain and coach.

“But my rest never felt like a break period because I have an elaborate training set-up at home for exercises and conditioning. Generally, I train more at home than when I am not with the Indian team.”(IANS)

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