Indian right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami has delivered some sensational performances in the past few months. From leading the charge in the longest format of the game, Shami has taken giant strides in his ODI career in the last two limited-overs series in Australia and New Zealand.
After having worked extremely hard on his fitness, Shami scalped 9 wickets from four games in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand to push his contention forward for a World Cup spot. For his spectacular effort in the five-match ODI series against the Kiwis, he was also adjudged as the Man of the Series. He even bowled really well in the limited-overs series in Australia earlier this year.
Although, he hasn’t featured in any of India’s games in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019, the national team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu has called him as his biggest achievement since association. He also termed the Indian captain Virat Kohli as any teacher’s delight.
For the 50-year-old, who has had two stints with the side starting 2015, the satisfaction comes from making a fitness freak out of an injury-prone Shami or even a Kedar Jadhav, who till 31-32, didn’t do any proper fitness training.
He knows his body
“Virat is any teacher’s delight. His biggest attribute is that he is ready to do boring stuff every single day of the year. He knows his body and if he is training, he will have 100 questions with regards to routines. Once he gets the answers, he follows them with all sincerity,” Basu told PTI during an exclusive interview.
A new and improved Shami didn’t miss a single Test match last season due to injury and maintained his intensity throughout. “Probably you can say that,” smiles the former junior India sprinter when asked whether he considered Shami his biggest achievement.
“And come to think of it, he failed a fitness test last year and also had some issues in his personal life. Once he came back, he started training with a vengeance. I had told Shami that there is no point of training hard for 20 days,” he recalled.
“You have to train consistently. Now training is his lifestyle. Look at how his pace never drops even in the final test of a five-game series,” Basu added.
Basu then gave a sneak peek into Shami’s lifestyle that has gone for a complete overhaul. “He is a meat eater but now he has cut down on his junk food. He is probably the first example in this Indian team who has started the concept of intermittent fasting. He doesn’t eat a lot during the first half of the day but eats well during the second half of the day. He has reduced his fat percentage,” he concluded.