Cricket NewsIshant Sharma, a seasoned Indian fast bowler, recalls Mohammed Shami's first net...

    Ishant Sharma, a seasoned Indian fast bowler, recalls Mohammed Shami’s first net session bowl for India.


    The best form of marketing, so the saying goes, is word-of-mouth. The professional world, including sports, operates similarly. Additionally, it is a way for athletes to make it to the major leagues from the domestic circuit or lower divisions. A strong performance is never overlooked, and once it becomes a habit, major players are sure to hear about it. Such was the case for the 22-year-old West Bengal pacer who found himself in the Indian nets, with then-captain MS Dhoni overlooking his trial. That is how many players in the Indian cricket team have been selected over the years. In just four words, the renowned cricketer changed the course of the fast-moving game.

    Veteran Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma recalled the first time Mohammed Shami had bowled in the net session for India while speaking to Cricbuzz on their “Rise of New India” presentation. Ishant, who by that time was now a senior player for India, said that he had heard a lot about Shami and his bowling abilities over and over again. He characterized it as “extremely skiddy.” The 34-year-old continued by saying that Shami was eventually invited to the 2013 Indian net session, and Dhoni, the country’s captain at the time, was very pleased with his bowling.

    “I had heard of a bowler from the West Indies who had a lot of paces, meaning he was very skiddy. His run-up looks normal but he bowled with a lot of paces. So when we saw him at the net, then Mahi Bhai said, “Wow, he is good”,” he said. Later that year, at the Eden Gardens against the West Indies, Shami made his Test debut. He took nine wickets in India’s innings-and-51-run victory, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings.

    “Then he made his debut in Kolkata. As far as I remember, he picked nine wickets and helped India win. So after that, we also became very good friends. When he was going through some personal turmoil, whatever had happened to him, I felt he needed support from someone outside and say to him, ‘What happened, happened. If you focus on cricket, maybe things will become okay’. Maybe that is why Shami is a totally different bowler now,” Ishant added.


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