Mohammed Shami on his 2019 success: Credit to team as well

Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 08:19 IST | Debasish Datta | Mumbai

India pacer Mohammed Shami refuses to accept all the kudos for a successful 2019 and points to catches taken off his bowling

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami has been recalled to India's T20 squad for the tour of New Zealand and though success can never be guaranteed, he is fit and ready for any challenge. Shami went wicketless in Tuesday's ODI against Australia but he has the wherewithal to come back and dazzle like he often does either in whites or in the blue limited overs attire. The New Zealand tour is something that the pacer will enjoy thanks to the swinging conditions on offer in Kiwiland. He has the performance to back his optimism with him claiming a total of 77 wickets in 2019.

A recent stint at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore has done wonders for his fitness and staying away from his favourite biryani is only one of the things Shami has sacrificed to get into peak condition.

Edited excerpts from a recent interview:

You were the highest wicket-taker in ODIs last year. Have you set the same target this year too?

Nobody can predict how many wickets or runs one can get. Serious hard work is behind my success. It's a team game and I cannot claim that I am the highest wicket-taker because of my bowling alone. Catches were taken so credit must go to the team as well. I am enjoying my current form and would like to continue like this.

Kapil Dev feels that you should not lose your rhythm…

I would like to thank Kapil paaji for that. I spoke to him three years ago when I was at Mirpur. He gave me a few tips which I benefitted from. I must mention that Wasim Akram too gave me some tips.

Sunil Gavaskar feels that you remind him of Malcolm Marshall…the way you run to the wicket.

This is a big compliment. Running is an important factor in bowling and I have concentrated on that. I have definitely improved but have a long way to go. I'm trying my level best to pitch the ball in the right areas, trying to bowl good yorkers too. Also, you have to lead a disciplined life. I would like to play all three formats and I have reduced my weight—no more biryani, however tasty it is. If you eat biryani, you have then to burn extra fat.

India will be paying in New Zealand soon. Are you targetting Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor?

I have no such targets. Who knows, these two batsmen could be dismissed even before I come on to bowl. My plan is simple—I have to give my best and dismiss a Kiwi batsman whenever skipper Virat Kohli gives me the ball.

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