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Mohammed Shami credits Shoaib Akhtar advice for superb World Cup showing

Shami had burst onto the international scene in 2013, having taken 79 ODI wickets at an average of 24.96 since then, but has been as woeful as the rest of the Indian bowling attack in recent times.

Indian team celebrate Darren Sammy’s wicket during the match against West Indies

India’s leading wicket-taker in the World Cup despite having missed a match due to a niggle, Mohammed Shami, has credited the advice of Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar for his increased pace and control in the ongoing showpiece tournament.

Shami had burst onto the international scene in 2013, having taken 79 ODI wickets at an average of 24.96 since then, but has been as woeful as the rest of the Indian bowling attack in recent times.

After returning to the India team with a 3/35 against West Indies on Friday, Shami said at a post-match chat that the Rawalpindi Express, recently in news for his views on Pakistan cricket, had advised the Bengal pacer to shorten his run-up.

“The recent change in run-up has surely increased my pace. So I am continuing with it and hoping that it pays rich dividends. I did have a chat with Shoaib (Akhtar) bhai and he suggested that I should reduce my big strides. So shortened my stride and it has worked.

“The new action is smooth and comfortable and it has also increased my pace.”

Enjoyed bowling at Perth: Shami

The 24-year-old Shami stated that he will stick to the current action for the time being and is happy with the dividends the modification have paid off.

"I don't want to change much in my action. And most of the ex-players have advised me against making any major changes to my action. It is always a double edged sword, to change one's action. It can work for you or go against you. I don't want go through this confusion and I am satisfied with the little change that I have made to my run-up.

“Very happy with how things have panned out and will just focus on my line and length and would like to continue my good work.”

Shami showed great tactical nous in the West Indies match to win a duel with Chris Gayle, and the bowler said that he had enjoyed bowling on the WACA track in Perth.

"I have enjoyed bowling in Perth because I was getting the bounce and carry. Wherever I have gone, I have found flat wickets. I had heard a lot about Australian wickets, but did not see them in the Test matches but now I see that in Perth.

On the Gayle dismissal, he said, "Our fine leg was being wasted, so after having a chat with Mahi bhai, we shifted the fine leg away. We were trying to use the swing and the bounce of the wicket. We capitalised on both the options and it worked.”

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