Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami isn’t concerned about his spot in the ODI XI despite his seniority. He emphasized that team objectives take priority, and it’s natural for someone to be left out due to this approach.
Shami delivered a career-best performance, taking 5/51 in the first ODI against Australia in Mohali, marking the first time an Indian pacer achieved a five-wicket haul in a home ODI in 16 years, with Zaheer Khan being the last to do so in 2007 against Sri Lanka.
Mohammed Shami commented on his non-regular status in the ODI XI during a post-match press conference, noting that he wouldn’t have played if Mohammed Siraj hadn’t been rested. The pacer said:
“This is a part and parcel of the game. It’s important to understand the team’s needs. It isn’t possible that you’ll always be part of the playing XI and team combinations. When we play regularly, someone or the other will have to sit out. There is no point being frustrated about it. Obviously it’s good if you’re in the XI but it’s also crucial to be understanding when on the bench. That role is also very important.”
Mohammed Shami’s outstanding performance helped India dismiss Australia for 276. India then comfortably secured the victory with half-centuries from Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, captain KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav. This win also propelled India to become the top-ranked side across all formats.
“I don’t think anyone should be burdened a lot” – Mohammed Shami supports the rotation policy for the World Cup
Leading up to the World Cup, India has frequently given their bowlers rest. For example, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav were not selected for the first two matches of the current series, and Mohammed Siraj sat out the first ODI. Despite criticism from some quarters about the choice to rotate players shortly before the World Cup, Shami expressed his support for the management’s policy, believing that it will indeed be beneficial for the bowlers.
“The idea from the team management is to rotate according to the conditions and the situation, or depending on the opposition. They know how to handle it and if you see, the recent results have been quite good. The rotation is going smoothly and before the World Cup, I don’t think anyone should be burdened a lot,” he said.
“It’s good for us because rotating pacers is key in such conditions. It’s more important for bowlers, not that it’s easier for batters but still. Rotation is important especially before ICC tournaments. It particularly helps those who haven’t been in rhythm to get some much-needed game time,” the fast bowler concluded.
The next match in the India-Australia series is scheduled to take place at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Sunday.