Auckland: India pacer Mohammed Shami is in fine form in the World Cup having accounted for 12 wickets from the four (out of five) matches that he has played in this far. On Tuesday, he finished with 3-41 in India's eight-wicket victory against Ireland in Hamilton.
(Inset) Richard Hadlee and Mohammed Shami
Moments after the match, Shami received a huge shot in the (right bowling) arm, as New Zealand cricket legend Sir Richard Hadlee called on him.
Hadlee (63) was the chief guest at the post-match presentation ceremony at Seddon Park, and later came closer to the boundary rope near the pavilion looking for Shami.
A day earlier, at the Hobbiton Village Movie Set, Hadlee had told journalists that he was impressed with the turnaround of the Indian pace bowlers since their dismal Tests series and tri-series Down Under.
"Shami, in particular, has been very impressive," Hadlee had said.
On Tuesday, the India pacer approached Hadlee quite hesitantly, probably in awe of the legendary pacer, who has taken an impressive 158 and 431 wickets from 115 ODIs and just 86 Tests respectively.
Hadlee and Shami spoke for only a few minutes and the New Zealander is believed to have appreciated the Indian bowler's persistence. "Hadlee first congratulated Shami on his good show in this World Cup and told him that he was impressed with his persistence.
Hadlee told Shami that if he wants to be a great bowler, he will have to master the art of controlling the red ball. And to learn that art, Hadlee said that Shami will have to keep practising with the red ball and not the white Kookaburra," a source told mid-day yesterday.
Shami nodded in affirmation and couldn't stop smiling for a long time after Hadlee had walked away.