India pacer Mohammed Shami credits improved fitness for ODI resurgence

Sudhir Gupta 21:44 02/03/2019
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A fine display by Shami in the first ODI against Australia.

Mohammed Shami’s ODI resurgence continued on Saturday with the India pacer putting in an excellent display (2-44) against Australia at Hyderabad.

Shami picked up the two important wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Turner in the first ODI as the hosts picked up a hard-fought six-wicket win.

The 28-year-old pacer’s performance comes on the back of some superb displays in India’s recent tours of Australia and New Zealand. It was a difficult 2018 for the India fast bowler with personal issues and fitness hampering his international career.

Once a regular in India’s ODI setup including the World Cup squad for the 2015 edition , fitness woes had seen Shami fall down the pecking order with the pacer playing only two matches in the format in 2018.

However, the bowler has completely turned it around in the last few months and is now almost a certainty to make the cut for India’s 2019 ICC World Cup squad.

“This year has been one where we have worked really hard. We enjoy our training and you get to the see the results on the field. I hope that we continue to enjoy playing together and performing for the country,” Shami stated after India’s win.

“There have been ups and downs in life, but it is cricket that has brought me here. I just try to give my best for the team, and I keep taking feedback from the experienced players. I have focused more on my line and length in the last 18 months.”

The improvement in Shami’s fitness in recent months has been clear to see with the pacer putting in the hard yards at Australia, New Zealand and now India.

Explaining the reasoning behind his improved fitness, Shami said, “When I returned from injuries, I had gone up to 93 kilograms, and then I realised I needed to lose weight. I thank everyone who pushed me, and I have maintained my weight since then.”

Shami will be hoping to continue his recent resurgence for India in the second ODI of the five-match series against Australia at Nagpur on March 5.

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