Salaam Cricket 2020: Believe it or not, Mohammed Shami was labelled lazy in the early days of his career. However, he bounced back to make a name for himself and today he is among the most potent pacers in world cricket.
Mohammed Shami (Reuters Image)
- People used to call me lazy and moody in Ranji cricket also: Shami
- Things have changed with my performance now: Shami
- Bowlers have always had to bear the brunt: Shami on Saliva ban
Mohammed Shami is one of the most feared pacers in world cricket today but speaking at Salaam Cricket 2020, he said an India cap was never his target and he only wanted to do well in the Ranji Trophy.
Shami is today hailed for his work ethics and unrelenting spells in Test mathces in challenging conditions but the pacer revealed that was’t always the case. Shami, who has 180 Test and 144 ODI wickets, is one of India’s fastest bowlers in the current set-up and has often won games for his teams on pitches which have not offered a lot to bowlers.
However, the transition wasn’t easy and Shami revealed he had to listen to barbs early on in his career.
“When I was new to domestic cricket, even in Ranji Trophy, people used to call me lazy and moody. But when this 2.0 tag was attached to me they have been asking me what have I done differently, what has been the change? They used to pull my leg earlier by calling me lazy but my performance even back then was fine. But now when my performance has improved, with the 2.0 tag, the questions have changed,” Shami said at Salaam Cricket 2020.
I never targetted playing for India becaue I had been rejected several times from the UP team. I was just determined to play the Ranji Trophy. Now they ask me what have you done to change yourself. I used to perform well then but now with Shami 2.0, they ask me what has changed?” Shami said.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami did not sound very impressed with the ICC’s decision to ban the use of saliva to retain the shie on the ball once cricket resumes.
“Bowlers have always had to bear the brunt. When T20 format was introduced it became a form of entertainment for the fans where the bowlers took a beating while the batsmen made merry. Now saliva might be banned in Test cricket. I’ve started to feel scared now, I hope people don’t forget reverse swing.
“We have been used to this since childhood and it has a huge contribution in reverse swing. Now it will be very difficult and challenging. We use sweat to make the ball heavier and softer but reverse swing needs saliva, it keeps the ball harder, shinier and the ball reverses also. Now the challenge will be not to use our saliva, something which we are used to doing.”