Trent Boult and Tim Southee, two of the greatest fast bowlers in contemporary cricket, faced a difficult contest in the most recent World Cup semifinal at the Wankhede Stadium. They gave up 186 runs in their 20 overs despite their talent level. For the quick bowlers, the small ground, high humidity, and flat pitch made things more difficult.
Bumrah and Siraj’s Struggle on a Flat Pitch
World-class pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, who are renowned for their brilliance, also had trouble on the flat pitch in that same match. The lack of mobility and difficult conditions created restrictions for the New Zealand openers.
Enter Mohammed Shami: The Game-Changer
Mohammed Shami arrived amid the difficulties the other bowlers were facing. With a powerful opening ball, he took a wicket as KL Rahul caught Devon Conway behind. Shami maintained his excellent form, claiming vital wickets and making important contributions. His outstanding performance included a stunning 7-57 haul, which became the best-ever bowling figures by an Indian in ODIs and the record for the best figures in ODI World Cup knockouts.
Acknowledging the Support: Shami’s Gesture towards Paras Mhambrey
Shami recognised the role of India’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, in addition to his own hard effort and natural talent, which is evident in his remarkable performance. Twice throughout the World Cup, Shami gestured in Mhambrey’s direction, highlighting the coach’s contribution to his triumph.
Praises from Opponents and Teammates
Shami was praised by Kane Williamson, the captain of New Zealand, as maybe the world’s best fast bowler while bowling white balls. Shubman Gill said that he found it challenging to take on Shami in the nets. With 23 wickets at an average of 9.13 in six World Cup matches, Shami has the greatest wicket-taking total of any player in the competition. These are impressive figures.
Shami’s Impactful Return to the Playing XI
There were concerns over the choice to start Shardul Thakur in place of Shami during the World Cup. Shami’s childhood coach, Badruddin Siddiqui, disclosed that Shami accepted the choice and waited for his chance to play a part in important games.
A Coach’s Perspective: Shami’s Channel Bowling
Shami’s youth coach commended his ward for his reliable channel bowling, highlighting how important it is for a fast bowler to constantly hit the same location. The coach claims that Shami’s ability to pitch on the seam has made him extremely adept at keeping batsmen guessing about the direction of the ball.
From Moradabad to Stardom: Shami’s Journey
Badruddin Siddiqui, Shami’s childhood coach, recalled their first encounter when the 14-year-old Shami and his father went to learn fast bowling. The coach, impressed by Shami’s endurance and commitment, expressed satisfaction in his unmatched World Cup success—a journey that started in Moradabad.