All-round Shams Mulani sheds 'white ball specialist' tag

Mumbai all-rounder Shams Mulani revealed that a discussion with Narendra Hirwani, the legendary leg-spinner-turned-coach, changed his perspective.

Mumbai all-rounder Shams Mulani in action.   -  B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

 

One of the brightest spots in an otherwise inconsistent campaign for Mumbai has been the performance of Shams Mulani. The slow left-arm orthodox bowling and the crucial fifties down the order has been effective in the Ranji Trophy.

Right from Mumbai’s age-group tournaments, Mulani has built a reputation of being a shrewd cricketer with a never-say-die attitude. And this time around, his performances with the ball have helped him shed the ‘white ball specialist’ tag.

Bowling upfront and even at death in T20s and 50-over games, Mulani had made a name in white ball cricket. He even represented India at the Emerging Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in December 2018.

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When he was being branded as a white ball bowler, he started doubting his ability with the red cherry. Mulani revealed that a discussion with Narendra Hirwani, the legendary leg-spinner-turned-coach, changed his perspective.

“I was going through that phase, and then I went to Sri Lanka with the U-23s (Emerging Asia Cup) and met Hirwani sir over there. He was the bowling coach. I just asked him casually whether white-ball/red-ball bowlers are different and he said there’s nothing like that. It’s all in the mind. You just have to tweak a bit, not too much, it’s just in your mind that you bowl better with white-ball,” he said on Tuesday.

Having honed his skills at the iconic Shivaji Park Gymkhana under the tutelage of Pravin Amre and Padmakar Shivalkar, Mulani admitted that an additional thrust on spot-bowling has helped him improve his consistency with the ball.

“I try to bowl as much as I can. Spot-bowling is very important I feel. After the nets, after my batting is done, I catch hold of Pradeep Sundaram (bowling coach) and ask him to set the cones for me and he is ever willing to help me out. Purpose is very important rather than going through the drills. Enjoyment is different but you need to be serious where you need to be," he said.

Shams Mulani in Ranji Trophy 2019-20

Batting; Matches: 5; Inns:. 7; Runs: 274; Avge: 39.14; HS: 89; 50s: 3; 100s: 0; Bowling; Matches: 5; Inns. 8; Wkts.: 18; Avge.: 29.27; Best: 6/99; 5WI: 1; 10WM: 1

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