India’s bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah had a forgettable one-day international series against New Zealand with the 26-year-old going wicketless in the three matches.
This led to questions about whether the fast bowler had lost his rhythm or had been figured out by the hosts.
But Bumrah’s new ball partner Mohammad Shami came down heavily on those questioning his abilities saying these discussions were relevant if the slump was for a considerably time period.
“I can understand we are discussing on a topic (after a certain length of time) not just after 2-4 games. Just because he hasn’t performed in two games, you can’t just ignore his ability to win matches,” said Shami after the second day’s play in the warm-up game against New Zealand XI on Saturday.
“What Bumrah has achieved for India, how can you even forget that or for that matter ignore it? So if you think positively, then it’s good for the player and his confidence also,” he said.
Shami, who took an impressive 3 for 18 against New Zealand XI to give the visiting team the first innings lead, said one should not forget that Bumrah was coming back from a stress fracture on his lower back.
“As a sportsman, it’s very different. From outside, it is very easy to nitpick as some have a job to comment and earn money. Every sportsman can get injured and one should try and look at the positives rather than harp on negatives. I also got injured in 2015 (knee surgery) but then bounced back.
“People tend to think very differently and when you do not do well for a few games, their view point about you changes. So on our part, we shouldn’t over-think,” Shami said.
The 29-year-old also had a word of praise for Navdeep Saini and felt that he would only improve with experience. “He is young, he has got talent, pace and height. So there are benefits. But yes, someone has to guide him and take him along the way. He needs support. He is bowling well but no one possesses experience straightaway. It comes with passage of time.
“Hopefully, it will come soon and we seniors are there to help him.”
Good conditions for warm-up game
Having been the best Indian bowler on view during the second day of the warm-up game, Shami seemed happy with kind of track that was on offer.
“It was a bit green and the wicket was damp on the first day compared to the second day. Yesterday (First Day) morning, it was challenging and we wanted to take up that challenge. Today it was drier compared to yesterday, with cloud cover, the conditions became helpful.
“There was good bounce and carry, so felt good bowling on a track. These kind of tracks are a rarity and since we have pacers of that calibre, we reaped its benefits,” he added.
For someone with an enviable quality of hitting the seam with ease, Shami said that it was an art that he learnt through sheer hardwork and passion.
“When you start working on something, you develop a passion that you have to achieve. I never thought that I will start developing a great seam position but when I realised that a good seam position can help, I just worked on it.
“By God’s grace, now I can do whatever I want with the seam. If you want to achieve something, passion is pre-requisite. You have to chase that,” he added.