Cautious Shami taking it easy

While his ideal target is the third Test, Mohammed Shami said he preferred to take it cautiously and does not want to rush things.

Mohammed Shami admitted he felt a bit tight at the start of the game, but felt better as the day went by.   -  K.R. Deepak

After a nearly three-month layoff due to a knee injury Mohammed Shami played in his first competitive match on Monday for Bengal against Gujarat here on Monday with the chairman of selectors, M. S. K. Prasad, keeping a watchful eye. The India pacer started things tightly before going for runs in his second and third spells and returned wicketless with none for 37 from seven overs.

The pacer, who is in a race against time to get fit ahead of the third Test against Australia in Ranchi, admitted he felt a bit tight at the start of the game, but felt better as the day went by.

“When I started (in the game), there was a bit of tightness and once I warmed up I only got better. At this point of time, I am looking at getting as many sessions as possible to bowl full throttle. I am feeling much better.”

“Overall, I am feeling extremely comfortable and it felt nice to be bowling again. It was important for me to check and strength and stamina and that too under match conditions.”

While his ideal target is the third Test, Shami said he preferred to take it cautiously and does not want to rush things.

“I don’t think one should rush into anything at all. When you are not fully into your rhythm, your mind will invariably think about the injury and not allow you to concentrate on the job at hand. Your mind should be free and that can happen only when you are bowling in full throttle.”

“At this point of time, my only aim is to be bowling at my peak and be bowling like I normally do. I would not want the team to suffer (should I get picked and not be able to perform at my best) because of me. I am bowling in full throttle and the more I bowl, the more I would get into my rhythm.”

Shami has had issues with his knee in the past. He underwent a surgery in his left knee post the 2015 World Cup, which he played through the pain. This time it was the right knee that gave him trouble after the third Test against England in Mohali.

When asked if he has at some point he considered sacrificing pace to avoid injuries, Shami said, “I would not want to compromise my pace with swing at all. I feel bowling at a good pace and swinging the ball is my biggest strength and compromising them will not be my aim at all. I wouldn’t mind taking my time to make a comeback, but I wouldn’t compromise on my pace at all.”

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