Mohammed Shami has emerged as a strong contender for a World Cup spot and the in-form India pacer on Wednesday attributed his successful one-day international comeback to his stellar Test performances over the last 12 months.
Shami had earned a recall to the ODI squad in the home series against the West Indies in October. Following a brilliant run in the Tests and ODIs in Australia, he carried his form into the opening ODI against New Zealand in Napier, taking three wickets for 19 runs.
The 28-year-old has overcome fitness and personal issues to give his best for India. He was the player of the match of the series opener against the Kiwis.
“It has been a long journey. I played the 2015 World Cup, then got injured and it took me two years to recover. After the rehab, I made it to the 2016 World T20 squad. Then after a while, I got full confidence and felt like I was back on track,” said Shami, who became the fastest Indian to 100 wickets in ODIs.
“You saw in 2018, I played regular Test cricket. The confidence level is very high, I am bowling with the same speed that I used to earlier. Hope I can continue this,” he added.
He was the second highest wicket-taker in the landmark Test series win against Australia with 16 to his name, only behind Jasprit Bumrah (21) and Nathan Lyon (21). He had also finished the South Africa Test series as the leading wicket-taker among Indians.
“I like Test cricket more than other formats. The way we have done in the last three-four series (as a bowling unit), it does your confidence a world of good. If the bowling unit is delivering, the pressure is divided and that helps you give your best,” he said.
He may have hit top form but Shami is not losing sleep over a World Cup berth. The big-ticket event is scheduled to be held in England from May 30.
“I am not thinking too far ahead. It depends on my fitness and performance when the team is picked. As I said, we have the best bowling unit. They can pick anyone.”
Talking about his man of the match-winning effort on Wednesday, Shami added: “It was a high-scoring pitch. Your line and length has got to be accurate. You have to be really disciplined, especially with the smaller grounds in New Zealand.”