What’s the story?
Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami revealed that his father’s death meant his rehabilitation took longer than expected but admitted that he is fit to make a comeback into the Indian Test team. The fast bowler was practicing with the Indian team at the National Cricket Academy and also admitted coach Anil Kumble was happy with his fitness.
The 26-year-old is yet to play a match in 2017 but is currently in Chennai along with the Bengal team for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he is expected to feature in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of the squad that will be selected for last two Tests against Australia. His father paced away in January and he admitted that was a huge setback.
“My rehabilitation took a bit of time because of my father’s death. I couldn’t do my recovery for almost a month. I was a bit emotionally and mentally down. He was a big influence in my life. It was never easy for me to make it big in cricket from where I come from. My father had sacrificed a lot for my career. But I am okay now,” he told Sportstar.
Extra Cover: Rohit Sharma willing to open the batting in Tests
In case you didn’t know...
Although he has struggled with injuries, Shami has been one of India’s premier fast bowlers. He last played for India during the Mohali Test against England in November before he injured his knee and has since been recovering from his injury.
Shami has been an integral part of India’s Test side that went 19 games unbeaten between their loss to Sri Lanka in 2015 and the first Test against Australia in Pune, which ended their streak. The knee injury that forced him out of the side has seen Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma stake their claim to be the two front-line pacers in the side.
However, Shami’s track record means that if he is fit, he is likely to be an automatic choice in the XI, given his ability to swing and reverse swing the ball. The fact that Kumble is happy with his fitness and only wanted him to have a game under his belt also signals that he is likely to make the side.
All eyes will be on India’s squad for the final two Tests, which will be announced at the end of the Bengaluru Test. Although Shami is yet to play a game of cricket in the calendar year, he is widely expected to come back into the side.
India’s depth in the fast bowling department has meant that Shami hasn’t been missed. The form of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whenever he has played, combined with the performance of India’s spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin mean that there is no need to rush Shami back. With the Champions Trophy in June, Shami should be looked after to ensure he is in perfect condition ahead of the tournament.