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When Shami defied BCCI's diktat

Last updated on: November 21, 2018 21:26 IST

'The more you bowl here the more it will help in Australia.'

Mohammed Shami

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami bowled 26 overs for Bengal during Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy match against Kerala. Photograph: BCCI

Australia-bound Mohammed Shami defied BCCI's instruction of not bowling more than 15 overs in the Ranji game against Kerala and the Bengal pacer said rolling his arm for 26 overs was his "own decision".

Considering his workload in the upcoming four-Test series against Australia starting next month, BCCI had wanted him to bowl not more than 15-17 overs.

"When you are playing a match for your state, the important thing is to fulfil your responsibility," Shami, who returned with figures of three for 100 in 26 overs, said in Kolkata at the end of Day 2.

"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," added the pacer, who is India's highest wicket-taker in Tests this year.

 

Concerned with Shami's fitness issues of late, the BCCI had cleared the Bengal pacer to play ongoing Ranji Trophy match against Kerala on condition that he would only bowl 15-17 overs per innings.

But as Bengal struggled to bundle out Kerala, Shami ended up bowling the maximum in the four-prong pace attack.

In comparison, Bengal's regular strike bowler Ashok Dinda bowled 19 overs, while youngster Ishan Porel and Mukesh Kumar bowled 18 and 14 overs respectively.

Shami said it is best to bowl in a match than in practice.

"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. It was good preparation. For me bowling in a match is the best preparation. I prefer that any day.

"I was feeling well to bowl at home after a long time. All my friends were here. It was after a long time I could play with my team," Shami added.

An integral part of the Indian fast bowling unit, Shami is the leading Indian wicket taker in Tests this year with 33 wickets in nine Tests, including a five-for in the final innings of the Johannesburg Test that India won in January.

The four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy will get underway in Adelaide from December 6.

"I have prepared well, had good training and match preparation. I have a practice match there. I will be ready for the Tests."

Bengal find themselves on the mat as they are 139 runs behind in the second innings with nine wickets in hand. The hosts were bowled out for a paltry 147 in the first innings and Shami said the toss played a key role.

Bengal coach Sairaj Bahutule also echoed Shami's views on his extended spell.

"He was absolutely willing to bowl so he continued. Nobody put pressure on him," Bahutule said.

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