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Bowling with old ball from younger days key to Mohammad Shami's reverse swing mastery

Shami's coach reveals the secret behind Shami's success with the old ball.

Mohammad Shami

On a pitch that had turned into a raging turner by the end of the fourth day, the responsibility in ensuring India won the opening Test by a convincing margin was entrusted on the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who had done mot of the damage in the first innings.

While the duo did do considerable damage in the second innings, picking up 7 out o the 11 wickets, the other bowler who was impressive as well was Mohammad Shami, who took two wickets on Day Five with his reverse swing.

It really is a boon for Virat Kohli and co. that they have someone within their ranks who has the ability to swing the ball the other way and critically, someone who has very good control over it.

One would think that Shami’s control over that art would have involved a lot of hard work, but if his coach Barauddin in Amroha, the place from where he originally hails from, is to be believed then the fast bowler’s ability to bowl contrast swing is natural since he never bowled with the new ball when he was young.

“He (Shami) used to bowl with the old ball in tournaments and even after a match used to rub it for further practice against young kids. He always wanted to be called a fast bowler. That’s why he used to get the old ball. It was disappointing initially, but he made the most of it.

“His (Shami’s) magic with reverse swing is natural as he was never allowed to bowl with the new ball during his early days in his village,” he told the Hindustan Times.

On Monday, it wasn’t the first time that Shami showed off his prowess with the old ball. Right from his debut Test match against the West Indies in Kolkata, where he took nine wickets, he showed that on barren wickets, he was someone who could be relied upon with the old ball in hand.

Now as he returns to the scene of that devastation, he will look to rely on those memories and deliver once again, just he had done so in that game in 2013.

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