Shami: 'Want to be at 100% when I return'

Mohammed Shami, who's inching closer towards a comeback to the national side, talks about his workload, managing injuries, and how he was affected by his father's passing away.

"In international cricket, fast bowlers have always taken more workload than the spinners," says Mohammed Shami.   -  AFP

After being out of action since last November following a knee injury he sustained during the third Test against England in Mohali, pacer Mohammed Shami is inching closer towards a comeback to the national side.

Shami is here in the city as part of the Bengal side and will take part in the final league match against Gujarat on Monday to assess his match fitness.

“I am feeling good. I am looking at making a comeback to the Test side so I wanted to test my fitness level. It also gives me a chance to play for my state side for the first time this season,” said Shami during the sidelines of Bengal’s match against Madhya Pradesh.

“When you are playing your first match after injury, you might feel a bit of discomfort. I will need to see how I feel when I give my 100 per cent. It is important that I play a match before the grind of a Test match.”

Shami, who trained with the national team in Bengaluru couple of days back, added, “I am feeling quite fit now and I would like to see if I feel the same after the first match. I was practising with the Indian team when I was at the NCA  (National Cricket Academy) last week. I had a chat with Anil Kumble and he seemed happy with my fitness and asked me to play a match before my comeback.”

While away from the national side, Shami also had a personal setback with his father passing away in January. The pacer added the bereavement also meant his rehabilitation took a longer time.

“My rehabilitation took a bit of time because of my father’s death. I couldn’t do my recovery for almost a month. I was a bit emotionally and mentally down. He was a big influence in my life. It was never easy for me to make it big in cricket from where I come from. My father had sacrificed a lot for my career. But I am okay now.”

Shami has now suffered injuries in both knees. When asked if it's because of the workload, he said, “In international cricket, fast bowlers have always taken more workload than the spinners. That’s how it has always been. So there are no complaints. I know that I am in the team because I have to fulfill a certain responsibility. So even though, I have sustained two big injuries on both my knees, I will give my 100 per cent when I take the field.”

“Injuries have always been a part and parcel of a fast bowler’s life. I have now learnt how to deal with it. These injuries make me mentally stronger and increase the hunger in me to return to the field a better bowler.”

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