Adelaide: Before the start of play on Day Two yesterday, Virat Kohli followed Mohammed Shami, put his arm around him and then raised his index finger of his right hand, pleading for just one good tight spell.
Virat Kohli talks to Mohammed Shami yesterday. Pic/AFP
Shami responded with four accurate balls before starting the next over with a short, wide ball that was dispatched to the fence. Kohli fielding at third slip, threw his head back in despair. Perhaps, he knew at that time, India had made a blunder with the selection of Shami.
His selection ahead of Umesh Yadav raises a huge question mark. The day before the match, the pair was left to have a bowl-off in the nets.
Shami bowled three or four unplayable balls but in between, he dished out rubbish. Fortunately for him, the bad balls in the nets don't hit boundary ropes; they smash into the netting. The good balls however grab attention and that is one of the reasons Shami looks like a pace sensation. It is misleading and inaccurate.
In England, then bowling coach Joe Dawes had stated: "If you watch his run-up closely, there are inconsistencies that creep in throughout the over or even a spell.
That is one of the reasons why he tends to lose his pace" In this Test, Shami's pace decreased and if Dawes' theory was anything to go by, the paceman was losing his run up. Time after time, he fails to bowl six balls outside the line of off stump.
Since his dream debut against the West Indies at Kolkata in 2013, Shami has picked up 25 wickets in nine Tests at 46.56. Perhaps, the time has come to move on from the myth of Mohammad Shami to India's next pace sensation.