Team India pacer Mohammad Shami reflected on his return to the T20I setup in the build-up to the T20 World Cup 2022. The Bengal-born player overcame a number of hurdles during the journey and is now making an impact in the team's pursuit of their first ICC title in nearly a decade.
Shami was initially selected for the short white-ball home series, but had to be ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19. After making it to the list of stand-by players for the T20 World Cup 2022, he then piped the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, and Umran Malik to get into the main squad.
Making his first T20I appearance since the T20 World Cup 2021, Shami had an impactful outing against Pakistan in the opening contest and has followed it up with optimum performances as the tournament has progressed.
Stating that he was constantly practicing in a year where precedence was given to T20I cricket, Shami told PTI after Team India's narrow win over Bangladesh in Adelaide on Wednesday, November 2:
"It all depends on preparation, and the team management always tells you to get ready. As and when the team requires, you will get the call, is what we are always told. If you have seen my videos, I am never out of practice and I always continue with my training."
"It's not always easy to switch from one format to another red and white balls. It's about how well you are connected with the team and how well you bond with them."
The pacer is one of India's go-to bowlers when it comes to red-ball cricket. With India only playing two Tests in 2022, Shami hardly featured in national colors. However, he made a formidable presence with the white-ball, as evident by his stellar Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign with the Gujarat Titans (GT).
"There were 20 runs left and it was the skipper's choice" - Mohammad Shami on Arshdeep Singh bowling the crucial final over against Bangladesh
Rohit Sharma turned to left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh to bowl the final over against Bangladesh in a rain-curtailed Super 12 encounter at the Adelaide Oval.
Despite senior bowlers Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar having one over remaining in their quota of overs, the skipper gave the ball to the newcomer.
Sharing his insight over Rohit's decision-making surrounding the final over, the right-arm pacer said:
"There were 20 runs left and it was the skipper's choice and you want to look ahead. Also his yorkers were spot on so the skipper might have wanted to boost his confidence."
"185 is a good T20 score on any day and on any surface. Yes, rain did come and that's a different thing. When the target was revised, they needed nearly 10 runs an over (85 off 9 overs) and it wasn't easy. The ball was becoming wet and it became close, but the skill and quality shown by our boys, good for us."
Arshdeep managed to defend the target by conceding 14 runs off his final over, giving India a slender five-run win in the end. Shami was among the pick of the bowlers for Team India after returning with figures of 1-25 from his three overs.
Was Arshdeep Singh the right candidate to bowl the final over against Bangladesh? Let us know what you think.