According to former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra Mohammed Shami is going to be crucial to India’s chances at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, starting May 30 in England and Wales. Nehra lauded Shami’s lean appearance, saying the pacer’s fitness is “really, really impressive”.
His numbers since October 2018 (17 wickets in 9 matches at 25.23) point towards consistency and more pertinently match fitness over a period of time that he’s not enjoyed in the 50-over format since his post-2015 World Cup break down.
Shami has been one of India’s most consistent bowlers in Tests. The Bengal pacer was one of the standout performers for India during their overseas trips in 2018 as he picked up 68 wickets in 12 matches while forming a lethal combination with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
The rhythm translated into fast bowling perfection – an upright seam keeping its shape. In Hyderabad, Shami picked up the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Turner and showcased brilliant control with both the old and the new ball.
For a bowler eager not just to make the World Cup squad but even sneak into India’s first XI ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, his second spell came in a fairly ideal and testing scenario. Bhuvneshwar is still likelier to share the new ball with Bumrah in England, but Shami at the very least has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him to show he can essay the role too. In a World Cup populated with group stage games, Kohli would gladly take such luxuries aboard.