If India were able to take a 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, it is much due to their bowlers who did a splendid job of bowling out the opposition in less than 50 overs in all the three games. And the new-ball bowlers of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami deserve special praise, for making early inroads into the New Zealand batting unit.
Shami, especially, was outstanding with his disciplined line and length bowling that earned him two man of the match awards in three ODI games in New Zealand.
With India winning the series with two ODIs to go, India have rested their skipper Virat Kohli who has been playing non-stop since the Australia series Down Under. But along with Virat, there’s one more Indian cricketer who equally deserves a well-earned rest.
Shami, Kohli two over-worked Indian cricketers
And it’s none other than Mohammed Shami who along with Kohli are the only two Indian cricketers to have played all international matches since the Australia Test series. Shami, however, was not part of the T20I series played before the Test series against Australia.
Nevertheless, Shami played all the four Tests, bagging 16 wickets. He played six ODIs since then, bagging 12 wickets. More than his Test performance, his ODI show has grabbed all headlines. He has all but booked a berth for the 2019 World Cup.
But the team management has to take care of Shami’s workload or risk losing him for the 2019 World Cup, where he can be a great addition to the team in the pace-bowling friendly conditions of England.
Rest a must for a pace bowler
For a pace bowler, it’s that much more difficult to continue bowling at full speed over a consistent period of time. If not given proper breaks, they may risk injuries or get jaded that may affect their performance.
But Shami seems to be an exception. Shami has proven he is extremely fit and can withstand the rigors of international cricket without breaking down. It’s a far cry from the days when Shami used to spent months recovering from an injury.
With India taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, India can give rest to Shami and go for other reserve bowlers in Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj to test their skills against New Zealand batsmen.
Rest Mohammed Shami, give Khaleel a chance
Khaleel has a good chance to make it to the World Cup squad and hence, he must be given the chance to showcase his skills in the last two ODIs in place of rested Shami (if).
At the moment, Shami has proved his detractors wrong with his fitness, express bowling and bagging wickets in big numbers in the ODIs.
Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are the trio of bowlers who will hunt batsmen in the 2019 World Cup and the BCCI must take care to give them proper breaks to recover from niggles and be fit for the premier event in the cricketing world.