Indian pacer Mohammad Shami feels that it’s not fair to put an asterisk on India’s win over Australia in 2018/19 just because the hosts were without their two biggest stars, Steve Smith and David Warner. With the duo set to return for this year’s series, Shami emphasized on the need to plan.
The Indian team, led by Virat Kohli, created history two years ago by winning a Test series in Australia, thereby becoming the first-ever side in the country’s history to achieve the feat. However, while the celebrations were wild, there has been an invisible asterisk jotted next to the victory by several experts, who are, to date, hesitant to acknowledge the achievement owing to the fact that in that series, Australia was without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner, both of whom missed the tour as they were in the midst of their bans.
There is an air of perception that the Indian side won ‘only’ because the Aussies were not full strength, but Mohammad Shami begs to differ. The pacer, who clinched 16 wickets @ 26.18 in that series, feels it’s unfair to reduce India’s victory down to the absence of Smith and Warner.
"We have beaten them before. You cannot say somebody was not there so it was easier and all that. Now we can also think, if we had this bowler, it would have been good and so on,” Shami was quoted as saying by TOI.
With the duo all set to return for this year’s clash, however, the right-armer stated that it was important for the Indian bowlers to devise plans to trap both the run-machines.
“As per situation and current form, you need to plan. That matters more. If you compare both teams, they are strong. It matters how well you execute at the end of the day.”
But before he could head out to Australia, Shami will have to turn up in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab, for whom he was the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2019, with 19 wickets. But by the pacer’s own admission, the fast bowlers will have their task cut out this season. According to Shami, the hot and humid UAE weather will pose a big challenge for the quicks and thus the 30-year-old noted that it would be vital for the bowlers to manage their workloads to perfection.
"Temperature is much higher compared to India. There are chances of getting dehydrated. There will be chances of cramps. So we will have to keep those things in mind.
"It will be difficult as the wickets here are also different. So workload management is important. But it is not that difficult that it can't be managed. It depends on us how we manage our workload,” said the 30-year-old.
With Ashwin having departed, Shami will head into IPL 2020 as Punjab’s most experienced bowler, but the right-armer claimed that he does not feel any added pressure being the senior. Shami, who has played 51 IPL matches, asserted that he would, throughout the course of the season, provide as much help and insight to the younger bowlers as he can.
"I don't take pressure of being a senior in the side. You should believe in your skill and back yourself.
"I always try to share my knowledge with all my teammates at any level. It can be IPL, while playing for India or even at the club level. I like to talk about the team rather than myself."