Team India fast bowler Mohammed Shami has provided a crucial fitness update on teammate Ishant Sharma, who didn’t look in rhythm throughout the ongoing Test against England at Headingley. Shami stated that Ishant is fully fit and it was only a part of the plan to bowl in short spells.
Ishant, who missed the first Tets due to a slight niggle, made his way back in the playing XI in the 2nd Test. He was not simply at his best at Lord’s and continued to be off-colour at Headingley which raised questions about his fitness. However, addressing a virtual press conference, Mohammed Shami stressed that Ishant Sharma was just carrying Virat Kohli’s dictacts.
So Kohli is back in 2014 mode as a batsman… what mode is Ishant Sharma in? pic.twitter.com/1d0EUCY7v3
— Ashish Magotra (@clutchplay) August 26, 2021
“See when sometimes the ball doesn’t come well off the bowler’s hands or if the team has been on the field for a long time, the captain starts giving short spells of 3-4 overs. You don’t need to bowl 7-8 over spells consistently in Test matches. It depends on the situation and the bowler’s rhythm as well, that’s very important. You must have seen that Ishant started the innings and ended it as well,” Mohammed Shami said.
“So there are no doubts about his fitness. It’s just that the captain has to see which bowler needs recovery, how many overs to give, how many short or long spells to give. It’s the captain’s call and not the bowler’s,” he added.
Ishant was the only Indian bowler to return wicketless, that too, after leaking 92 runs from his 22 overs as England ended day 2 at 423/8, with a lead of 345 runs.
We are only concerned about end results: Mohammed Shami
228 v Sri Lanka, Galle
186 v Sri Lanka, Galle
218 v India, Chennai
109 v India, Trent Bridge
180* v India, Lord's
100* v India, Headingley
A sixth Test hundred in 2021 for Joe Root. No Englishman has ever scored more in a calendar year.
We are witnessing something very special. pic.twitter.com/vbK8vxIXkE
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 26, 2021
Speaking further, Mohammed Shami quashed all rumours that all the Indian pacers turned out to be ineffective against England captain Joe Root, who brought his sixth century of the year in Leeds. Shami pointed out that, despite Root’s heroics, India are still 1-0 up in the series.
“India won even after Root scored a hundred (at Lord’s). He almost scored a 200, but we are still 1-0 in the series. We are not bothered a lot about Root. Some or the other batter is going to score runs. If their captain is scoring runs, so be it. We are only concerned with the end result,” Mohammed Shami said.
“There is no point in thinking too much about a batter scoring so many runs. Instead, we have to believe in our skills. We need to back ourselves and not think about others. We don’t want to take too much pressure about it, and instead have faith in our ability,” he concluded.