Mohammad Shami or nicknamed ‘Lalaji’ by fellow teammates, is a crucial member of the Indian Cricket Team’s pace attack. He has been a mainstay in the Indian Pace attack across all three formats. As a bowler who can touch the 145km/hr mark consistently, he can swing and seam the ball exceptionally well. Read the below article to know more about this Indian Pacer who are in headlines cricket news for their exceptional bowling!
Childhood and Early Life
Shami was born in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh in a small village named Sahaspur. His bowling prowess was first noticed by his father, who himself was a fast bowler in his youth. He wasted no time in assisting Shami in realizing not only his son’s but also his dreams by bringing him to a renowned cricket coach, Badruddin Siddique, who was located in Moradabad, 22 kilometers from their village. Shami was seen by Siddique as a star who could be a part of the Uttar Pradesh Under-19 squad. Shami bowled exceptionally well in the trials, but he was not chosen for the final team and was instead left out due to internal politics.
He then started playing for Dalhousie Athletic Club, where he was noticed by Debarata Das who then took him into his team, Town Club. After not being selected for the Bengal Under-22 Team, he was sent to the Mohun Bagan Club, where he got the chance to bowl to the Legendary Indian Batsman Sourav Ganguly in the nets. This was the turning point in his career as after this, Ganguly mentored Shami and helped him make it to the Bengal Ranji Team in 2010.
Domestic and First-Class Career
Mohammed Shami’s arrived in the Domestic scenario in an encounter against Assam in 2010. On his debut, he bowled outstandingly well, taking three wickets.
After having performed well in domestic cricket, he was chosen for the West Indies-bound India-A team in 2012. During India-A’s Test match against West Indies-A in June 2012, he even contributed to a combination of 73 runs for the 10th wicket alongside Cheteshwar Pujara which helped them win the match.
It was eventually time for Shami to play for the Indian National Cricket Team after an impressive domestic career. When he was called up in 2012 for an ODI cricket series against rivals Pakistan that was scheduled to take place in 2013, his goal of playing for his country finally came true. In the third ODI encounter against Pakistan on January 6, 2013, he made his debut and took one wicket in a winning effort.
After arriving on the International scene, he was chosen by the ICC for the World ODI XI in 2014. He was included in the squad for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Although it was all but certain that Shami would make the playing XI because he was the squad’s fastest bowler and had already proven himself in significant games against huge teams. Shami had a fantastic world cup, and even though India lost to Australia in the semifinals, his performance earned him a spot on the tournament’s squad and, later, the ICC World ODI XI for 2015. The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup squad for India included Shami, who went on to become just the second player in Indian cricket history to score a World Cup hat-trick.
- Matches: 90
- Wickets: 162
- Best Bowling: 5/69
- Economy Rate: 5.59
- Average: 25.98
- 5-wicket hauls: 1
Shami made his international test cricket debut on November 21, 2013, against the West Indies. His first test match was at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, where he had trained for the greater part of his professional career. His first wicket was Kieran Powell and he later finished the Test match with 4 wickets for 71 runs in the initial innings and 5 wickets for 47 runs in the second. He had a fantastic start, taking 9 wickets for 118 runs, the most by an Indian pace bowler ever.
He was an integral part of the Indian team in the World Test Championships 2019-21, taking 40 wickets. With 25 wickets in 6 games during the current 2021–23 World Test Championship, Shami ranks sixth among all bowlers.
- Matches: 63
- Wickets: 225
- Best Bowling: 6/56
- Economy Rate: 3.3
- Average: 27.49
- 5-wicket hauls: 6
Shami played his first T20 International against Pakistan in March 2014. He dismissed Umar Akmal to finish with 1/31 in 4 overs. He was a part of the following two games before being dropped from the side.
Shami was chosen for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup due to his great performances in three consecutive Indian Premier League seasons. Even though he had not done as well in T20Is as he had in the other two formats, he was one of the primary squad’s three fast bowlers, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a white-ball specialist, and Jasprit Bumrah. Jasprit Bumrah’s back injury caused him to be unable to compete in the 2022 T20 World Cup, so Shami was selected as Bumrah’s replacement.
- Matches: 23
- Wickets: 24
- Best Bowling: 3/15
- Economy Rate: 8.94
- Average: 29.62
Shami began his IPL career with Delhi Daredevils in 2014; however, it turned out to be a disappointing campaign for the team. As a result, Shami did not receive many chances to play. The Delhi Daredevils retained him for the next year, during which he performed exceptionally well but was unable to help his team succeed in the race to the playoffs.
He was then re-signed by Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 season, but his five-year tenure with Delhi came to an end when the team chose to part ways with him due to his inconsistent performances, which were mainly caused by the injuries he sustained during that time. He was acquired by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 4.8 crores the following year and was the team’s leading wicket-taker in 2019, which may have given him a lot of confidence heading into the IPL 2020. He would then perform exceptionally well for the next two years as well, ending up as the highest wicket-taker for his side for 3 consecutive years. It was in 2022 when he was signed by Gujarat Titans, where he gathered 20 wickets helping his team win the Trophy.
To sum up, Mohammad Shami is a superb cricketer who has had a big influence on Indian cricket. He is a threatening bowler in any situation because of his quick, both-way ball swing. He has been a crucial member of the Indian Squad for the past few years and will continue to be in the coming years.