T20 World Cup 2022: "He was upset when the selection didn’t happen but never showed it" - Mohammad Shami's childhood coach on the pacer initially not being named in the Team India squad 

India v South Africa - ICC Men
Shami (center) is quietly making his presence felt at the T20 World Cup 2022

Mohammad Shami's childhood coach Mohammad Badruddin has shed light on the right-arm pacer's preparations building up to the T20 World Cup 2022. The Bengal pacer, whose last T20I appearance before the ongoing marquee event came in 2021, was initially named among the stand-by players.

Following Team India's woeful campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new management led by Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid opted to take a new approach in the shortest format.

As a result of the new wave, Shami was not considered for the T20Is, with the likes of Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh breaking into the team.

Incredible win in Adelaide today. The team's character shone right through as we kept trying. Credit to everyone for this memorable win. Melbourne next and onto the semis! #mdshami #mdshami11 #teamindia #t20worldcup #india

Even a formidable debut campaign with the Gujarat Titans (GT) during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season, where he was influential with the new ball as well as in the death overs, did not change the minds of the selectors.

Shami eventually found his breakthrough with a brief home season in October, but OCVID-19 got in the way.

Stating that his pupil was not pleased after being snubbed from the 15-man squad for the tournament, Badruddin told The Indian Express:

“He was very hopeful he will be selected as T20 World Cup was in Australia. Those pitches suit his bowling. He was upset when the selection didn’t happen but never showed it. He went on playing or being at NCA, or here at his farm, toiling away on the pitch."

He won the race against time to recover from COVID-19 and went on to prove his fitness to the selectors before officially being named as the injured Jasprit Bumrah's replacement for the tournament.

His first taste of action came during the warm-up contest against Australia at the Gabba, where he showed no signs of any rust with figures of 3-4 off his only over, the last of the game.

Shami used to bowl hundred odd balls daily to perfect his art: Badruddin on the pacer's preparation for the T20 World Cup 2022

The pacer has had quite some success in Australia in the past, but those came in Tests and ODIs. The extra pace and bounce Down Under are tailor-made for someone like Shami, who thrives on such wickets.

Recalling how Shami used to practice with the wet ball to execute his skills to perfection, Badruddin said:

"We kept around ten wet balls and he used to bowl non-stop. Wet ball is hard to grip, it’s where skills come handy. Shami must on an average used to bowl hundred odd balls daily to perfect his art. Look now, he is doing well in that too."

He continued:

“He has a few acres of land. And if there are no crops grown, he brings a tractor and resurfaces the whole mud. Shami will run for hours, he still does, he is not the one, who believes much in the gym, for him running is key."

Shami's efforts and hard work have paid dividends in the form of a fruitful T20 World Cup campaign so far. He has taken four wickets in four matches at an impressive economy rate of six.

Is Shami the X-factor for Team India at the T20 World Cup? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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