Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun revealed that Mohammed Shami wanted to quit cricket in 2018 after he failed to pass the fitness test ahead of the England tour. Arun expressed that he understood the pacer’s mood and took him to Ravi Shastri, who helped Mohammed Shami change his mind.
In a conversation with Cricbuzz, Bharat Arun revealed the conversation he had with Mohammed Shami when the pacer expressed his desire to quit the sport. Shami was going through turmoil in his personal and professional career. After failing the fitness test, Shami was dropped from the Indian team. Bharat Arun said,
“Just before the 2018 tour of England, we had a fitness test and Shami failed it. He lost his place in the Indian team. He called me and said he wanted to have a word with me. So I invited him to my room; he was going through personal turmoil. His fitness was affected, mentally he was gone. He came to me and said ‘I am very angry and I want to quit cricket’.”
“I immediately took Shami to meet Ravi Shastri. We both went up to his room and I said ‘Ravi, Shami wants to say something’. Ravi asked what it was and Shami told him the same thing, that ‘I don’t want to play cricket’. Both of us asked ‘What will you do if you do not play cricket?’ What else do you know? You know how to bowl when given the ball,” he added.
Whatever anger it is that you have, take it out on your body: Bharat Arun reveals Ravi Shastri’s advice to Mohammed Shami
Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun further revealed that Ravi Shastri advised Mohammed Shami to focus his anger on his fitness. The pacer worked on his fitness at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for five weeks, which helped him to get back. Bharat Arun expressed,
“So Ravi said ‘It’s good that you’re angry. This is the best thing that has happened to you because you have a ball in hand. Your fitness is poor. Whatever anger it is that you have, take it out on your body. We are going to send you to the National Cricket Academy and want you to go there for 4 weeks and stay there. You will not go home, and only head to NCA. It suited Shami also because he had a problem going to Kolkata then, so he spent 5 weeks at the NCA.”
“I still remember the call he (Shami) made and told me ‘Sir, I have become like a stallion. Make me run as much as you want. The 5 weeks that he spent there, he realized what working on fitness can do to him,” he added.
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