Shami Goes Against BCCI Diktat, Bowls 26 Overs in Ranji Match
In an attempt to handle his workload, the 28-year-old had been told not to bowl more than 15-17 overs in an innings.
Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami may have stirred the hornet’s nest – or at least ruffled some feathers in the BCCI – by overshooting a limit set by the board to bowl 26 overs in a single innings of a Ranji Trophy tie against Kerala, but the Bengal pacer is adamant it was his “own decision”.
In an attempt to handle his workload ahead of India’s upcoming Test series in Australia, the BCCI had cleared Shami to play this week’s Ranji tie in Kolkata with the caveat that he couldn’t bowl more than 15-17 overs in an innings.
But as Kerala mounted a sizeable lead on Day 2 of the Elite Group B clash, Shami decided to take things in his own hands. He ended up bowling more overs than anyone else in Bengal’s four-man pace attack.
When you are playing a match for your state, the important thing is to fulfill your responsibility. I was also feeling well and had no discomfort. The wicket was also doing well, so I continued as long as I could... I decided on my own.Mohammed Shami
Shami, who is India’s leading wicket-taker in Tests this year with 33 scalps from nine matches, returned with figures of 26-3-100-3 as Bengal eventually bowled Kerala out for 291 to concede a 144-run first-innings deficit.
Fitness issues have plagued Shami for large parts of his six-year long international career, and it is for the same reason that the BCCI wanted to limit his exertions. But the 28-year-old reckons bowling in real match scenarios is the best way to prepare for the tour of Australia.
“It was better to bowl for your team and state rather than practising somewhere else... The more you bowl here the more it will help in Australia,” Shami told reporters at the end of day’s play.
“It was good preparation. For me bowling in a match is the best preparation. I prefer that any day.”
An integral component of the Indian fast bowling unit, Shami is expected join the squad in Australia soon ahead of the opening game of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy, getting underway in Adelaide from 6 December.
Bengal coach Sairaj Bahutule, a former Indian cricketer himself, echoed Shami’s thoughts about the decision of bowling as long as he did being his own.
“He was absolutely willing to bowl so he continued. Nobody put pressure on him,” said Bahutule.
Despite Shami’s toil, Bengal find themselves on the mat as far as the game is concerned, trailing Kerala by 139 runs heading into the third day in Kolkata.
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