Former Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on pace sensation Mohammed Shami, comparing his unwavering dedication and relentless bowling in the nets to the iconic all-rounder Kapil Dev.
In India’s emphatic victory over England on October 29, Shami delivered a spectacular performance, claiming 4 wickets for just 22 runs in seven overs. His spell, lauded by many as one of the standout moments of the 2023 World Cup, saw him dismiss key English batsmen, including Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid.
After the game, Gavaskar spoke to India Today and commended Shami’s unwavering commitment to his craft, much like the legendary Kapil Dev. He highlighted Shami’s dedicated practice, which involves creating multiple pitches at home to bowl for extended periods. Follow your favourite cricket team with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.
Gavaskar stated, “There is a lot of hard work there… When he goes back home, he has got several pitches made apparently, and he just bowls and bowls over there. That is what is important. He is looking at his personal cricketing fitness. What is his specialty? It’s fast bowling… Mohammed Shami is doing exactly what Kapil Dev used to do, just bowl and bowl in the nets.”
Shami’s resurgence came after not featuring in India’s initial four World Cup games. However, he made a grand entrance with a brilliant five-wicket haul against New Zealand before his standout performance against England. His exceptional bowling display played a pivotal role in elevating India to the top of the points table, with six wins from six matches.
Sunil Gavaskar further elaborated on his admiration for Shami’s bowling when he is in rhythm, likening it to a cheetah hunting its prey. The 33-year-old pacer has been in remarkable form, claiming 15 wickets in his last four outings, dating back to the Australia ODI series before the World Cup. Shami boasts a remarkable record at ODI World Cups, having taken 40 wickets in 13 matches at an impressive average of 14.07.
Gavaskar added, “He is not listening to all your bio-mechanic experts who might say ‘oh no, no bowl only 15-20 deliveries in the nets’. He knows that as a fast bowler, he really needs a lot more mileage in his legs as he runs in to bowl. He is showing it… It’s a fantastic sight.”
Shami’s exceptional bowling exploits have established him as a key player in the Indian squad. This presents a positive dilemma for the team management when Hardik Pandya returns or if Ravichandran Ashwin is included in the playing XI.
With one foot in the semi-finals, the Men in Blue will aim to secure a top-four finish in their upcoming clash against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on November 2. Get free cricket betting tips only on Nextbet Sports.