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Running in like a horse in the World Cup: Former bowling coach explains secret to Mohammed Shami’s lethal form


Running in like a horse in the World Cup: Former bowling coach explains secret to Mohammed Shami’s lethal form


Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun has been thrilled by the performances of the Indian bowling group in the World Cup 2023, especially that of Mohammed Shami. Having worked with Shami during his stints until 2021 with the senior national team, Arun is a proud man, seeing Shami let the ball do the talking on Indian pitches in the tournament.

Mohammed Shami is among the leading wicket-takers in World Cup 2023, having picked 16 wickets in just 5 matches. He has rattled opposition sides after having been the first change bowler for the 2-time champions. India’s bowling group has been relentless and Shami’s ability to choke the opposition batters after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj’s tight spell wih the new ball has contributed to India’s success.

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India have bowled out oppositions in 7 matches out of 9 and only 4 teams have managed to score in excess of 200 against the well-oiled bowling attack. Shami, in fact, was brought into the side only after India lost Hardik Pandya to a leg injury. Shami has instilled fear in opposition batters’ minds with his run in the last 5 league games.

Having stuck to his basics and the much-talked-about upright seam, Shami has set up opposition batters with incredible consistency. With 2 5-wicket hauls and a bowling average of a wicket every 9 balls, Shami has been the standout in the World Cup. And that spell from hell to Ben Stokes is certainly going to make it to the highlights package of the tournament.

Bharat Arun shed light on what has made Shami as lethal as he has been in the World Cup, highlighting the fast bowler’s love for Test match lengths in ODI cricket.

“I remember Mohammed Shami saying once, I need to run in like a horse to be successful’. All this World Cup, Shami has been running in – galloping, you could say – fluently, with an amazing rhythm that complements his bowling skills,” Arun wrote in a column for ESPNCricinfo.

Notably, former India captain Sunil Gavsakar, speaking to India Today, had highlighted how hours of training, much like Kapil Dev, has helped Shami hit rhythm straightaway in the World Cup.


Bharat Arun went the extra mile to explain a key aspect of Shami’s success, shedding light on his relentless approach in the middle.

“His other big strength is, he brings his Test match mentality to ODIs. He has always been convinced that Test match lengths are good enough for ODIs – of course, outside of the death overs, where variations come into play.

“In the past, Shami would occasionally lose patience and slide one in straighter prematurely in a sequence of balls outside off angling away. But now his motive is to enjoy testing the batter, to make run-scoring difficult while not being bothered about the wickets column.

“Even against the tail, he continues to stick with his lengths,” he added.

Shami is already India’s leading wicket-taker in ODI World Cups with 47 wickets, including 3 five-wicket hauls and a hat-trick, in just 16 matches. He went past Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath who had 44 in 23 and 34 matches, respectively.

Shami needs only 3 more to become only the 7th bowler in the history of the World Cup to pick up 50 wickets and don’t be surprised if it comes in the semi-final against New Zealand on Wednesday in Mumbai where he rattled Sri Lanka with a 5-wicket haul.

Published By:

Akshay Ramesh

Published On:

Nov 14, 2023


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