Shami had the ability to get reverse swing since he was 16, says coach
Mohammed Shami proved his ability to generate reverse swing on the first day of his Test career with a four-wicket haul, on the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies, at the Eden Gardens, on Wednesday.
However, his effort did not surprise his childhood coach, Badruddin Siddique.
"I don't know about others, but Shami had the ability to get reverse swing since he was a 16-year-old. He has practised a lot to perfect the reverse delivery that comes into the right-hander. He has done that a number of times in the Ranji Trophy also," an ecstatic Badruddin, who has honed the pacer’s skills since his under-16 days, said.
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The West Indies, after electing to bat, were shot out 234 and Shami had dream figures of 4 for 71.
Image: Mohammed Shami
The secret of Shami's reverse swing
Asked what was the secret of the Bengal bowler’s instant success in the longer version of the game, Badruddin replied: "During junior level tournaments in and around Moradabad, Shami would always request organizers to give him the old red balls used in the tournament. I would then watch him regularly polish one side and keep the shine of those semi-new balls.”
He went on to reveal that “if he didn't get anyone, then he would get hold of little boys to stand on one side of the wall and just try to get reverse with high-arm action”.
Image: Mohammed Shami
'The only thing he needs to develop is a potent slower delivery'
Badruddin feels that right from the time he made his ODI debut against Pakistan in Delhi, last winter, he knew it would be a matter of time before the selectors gave him the nod for Tests too.
"Look at his first-class record. He has got almost four wickets per match (71 first-class wickets from 18 games). The temperament he showed against Pakistan in a low-scoring tie gave me confidence that he is ready for the big league," an elated Badruddin recalled.
"He works up international standard pace and with that he can swing the ball both ways. He has a good bouncer and you will see him bowling the delivery that reverses away in near future.
"The only thing he needs to develop is a potent slower delivery. I am not saying this because he is my student, but he is ready to learn. Some people get better at the higher level and it holds true in case of Shami," he added.
Image: Mohammed Shami (right) celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking a wicket
'Eden Gardens is a ground that Shami knows like the back of his hand'
Badruddin feels that making his debut at Eden Gardens also helped Shami.
"Eden Gardens is a ground that Shami knows like the back of his hand. You need to know what length to hit on a particular strip and when it's Eden, Shami knows it better than a lot of others."