New Zealand vs India: Ravi Shastri drools over Mohammed Shami's special performance in the series

New Zealand vs India: Ravi Shastri drools over Mohammed Shami’s special performance in the series

He was also delighted with the way middle-order tackled a tough situation in the fifth ODI.

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Mohammed Shami was India’s best man with the ball at the World Cup 2015 in Australia. He was terrific in that tournament even though he carried a knee injury back then. But, post the tournament, he missed out playing ODI cricket due to the lacklustre form and due to various injuries. Also, the evolution of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya didn’t see Team India requiring another seamer.

Therefore, even though he was a regular part of the Test side, Shami didn’t get as many opportunities as he’d have liked. India tried out various pacers in this duration. But, most of them failed to create an impact. Shami, punched above his weights, just at the stroke of the World Cup 2019 to seal his spot in the side. Head coach Ravi Shastri seemed to be mighty impressed with the pacers and shared insights about what went in through the process.

Mohammed Shami was hurt when he was dropped due to failure in yo-yo test

“But one man, if I have to single out, over the last five months [that stood out] is the man who won the Man of the Series today [Mohammed Shami]. It hurt him when he got the kick up the backside and was dropped from the side after failing the yo-yo test. He went back, did the hard yards, and across all formats, he has been simply outstanding. And right through the series, he has given us those early breakthroughs,” he said.

Moreover, the coach was impressed with Shami’s pace. However, at the same time, he said that one cannot take away anything from the contribution of the spinners. “Very impressive [Shami’s pace]. He was right up there when it came to pace and the spinners supported him well. You can’t take away the contribution of Kuldeep and Chahal in all these one-day games,” he added.

Ravi Shastri also heaped a lot of praise on the Indian middle-order. After being down to 18/4 in the fifth ODI, the middle-order fought back brilliantly. Shastri said that one cannot expect the top three to always deliver. He noted that it was important to see through a dangerous spell like the one from Trent Boult and capitalise later on. The coach seemed to have liked the way Vijay Shankar went about his business with the bat.

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