New Delhi: Mohammad Shami made perfect use of playing against arch-rivals Pakistan on his ODI debut. With India defending a paltry total of 167 at the Ferozeshah Kotla on January 6, he produced figures of 1/23 off his nine overs, including four maidens, to help India win by 10 runs.
But a few months later, he was disheartened as Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t pick him regularly. It seemed to have robbed him of a place in the Indian team for the Champions Trophy.
As luck would have it, the 23-year-old bowler was drafted into the squad for the tri-series in the West Indies after Irfan Pathan injured his hamstring.
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Shami’s coach Badruddin Siddique believes that God has been kind to him. “He had a dream debut and had done fairly well in the opportunities that he got for India. Had Shami played regularly for KKR, he would have definitely made it to the Champions Trophy,” Siddique told MAIL TODAY. “But the best thing about him is that he never gives up. It is obvious that he used to be disheartened and every time we spoke, he would keep asking me where he was going wrong. I’d told him that he should not worry and should keep working on his game,” he said.
“I was really surprised by the selection policy, but then I didn’t want Shami to get more dismayed. So I always tried to divert his attention. I would tell him that if they weren’t playing him, it was their loss and he shouldn’t lose sleep over it. God has been kind and he is back in the Indian fold.”
Revealing his discussion with Shami, after the latter was picked for the tri-series, Siddique said: “He called me before leaving and I told him to concentrate on his strengths and work according to the demand of the situation. He is a very good listener and a good reader of the game. I told him to not think too much.”
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.