Crescent Kashmir

Whatever the situation is, being a professional you have to adjust and take it in your stride: Shami

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Bubble life, as some cricketers have said, takes a toll. As if that weren’t enough, the havoc wreaked by the second wave of Covid-19 makes people further depressed, especially when they are taking a few days off from their busy schedule.

But a professional cannot just sit and brood over the situation. Adjusting to it and diverting the mind back to the work lying ahead is key, especially in such trying times, emphasised Mohammed Shami.

“Obviously, if there’s so much of disappointment around you and you come across so many people in distress, it does disturb you. Especially when you are away from home and in a different city.

“It’s difficult to be in the right frame of mind then, but problem se bhaaga nahi ja sakta. Solution aapko dhoondna hi padega (But you can’t run away from the problem. You have to find the solution),” the senior India pacer told The Telegraph before joining the India team quarantine in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Shami is quite aware of not letting the all-around gloom affect him. With less than a month left for the World Test Championship final versus New Zealand, he’s trying to ensure cricket remains his focus.

“I go to my farmhouse (in Sahaspur, Uttar Pradesh) and start training. That way I stay in connection with the game and not left my focus drift. It’s something I did last year too.

“Whatever the situation is, being a professional you have to adjust and take it in your stride,” he said.

Shami did feature in this year’s IPL for Punjab Kings, returning from a wrist injury suffered during the Adelaide D-N Test against Australia last year. But not being able to wear the India cap for all these months makes him more determined for the much-awaited WTC final, where he believes he and his fellow quicks will again play a pivotal role.

“The fact that our team has been so consistent in the longest format over the last four-five years is also due to the contribution of us fast bowlers. So behind this rise to the No.1 rank, kahin na kahin toh pacers ka bhi ek role hai (somewhere or the other, pacers too have had a role to play).

“But yes, it’s a final, so we have to be on top of our game,” Shami stressed.

Reverse swing, Shami agreed, will remain as one of his options against the Black Caps in Southampton.

“Ever since application of saliva has been banned, one found it tough to get the ball to reverse. But of course, since that has been one of my strengths, I’ll certainly try and get whatever amount of reverse swing I can as it’s essential to have all your options at your disposal in a game of such magnitude,” Shami said.

Alongside their quicks, captain Williamson is also central to New Zealand’s prospects in the summit clash. But India’s bowlers will not be targeting any particular individual.

“We’re playing against another team, not against any one individual. As it has always been, our aim will always be to the target the opposition by hitting the right length, backing each other and our strengths as well as maintaining the intensity right through so that the proceedings become tougher for all their players, not just Williamson,” Shami signed off.



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