New Delhi: Indian fast bowler Mohammad Shami, who has so far picked up eight wickets in the two Tests against West Indies, has revealed the effort he had put in to shed the extra kilos he had piled after being forced out of action for two months after his injury. Mohammad Shami has said the visitors will aim not to repeat their sloppy show on the final day of the second Test when they take on the West Indies in the third and penultimate cricket Test match starting here on Tuesday.
After a comprehensive victory in the first Test by an innings and 92 runs, India looked favourites to win the second one as well, but an outstanding batting display on the final day by Roston Chase (137 off 269 balls) helped the home side manage a draw and stay alive in the four-match series.
India failed to pick up six wickets on the final day of second Test which resulted in a draw. But despite the draw in the second Test, the visitors look a better side on paper to grab the series in the third Test match at the Darren Sammy Stadium here.
"Whenever you get early wickets, there is always a long partnership in the match. It cannot be said that we made mistakes. They played very well and the wicket was a bit flat as well," Shami told reporters on Sunday. "The conditions were good for batting, and we have to praise them for their second innings. Our effort is to not allow a repeat of that and keep our confidence high as we look to win the next Test."
With pace trio Ishant Sharma, Shami and Umesh Yadav contributing in both the matches, except on the final day of the second Test, it is most likely that the combination will not be changed. However, a change can be expected in the spin department with left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja getting a chance in place of leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has already cemented his spot with a match-winning show in the first Test.
Shami stressed that he supports the idea of playing five bowlers in the side.
“As a fast bowler you get more time and rest because that is important. You bowl 4-5 overs in a spell, and then, when you have five bowlers, you get 8-10 more overs to get rest. So the rhythm is better on return and you are able to make more effort," the Bengal pacer added. "It is a very big plus-point that we have two good spinners and three fast bowlers playing in the eleven. This is a good combination and we want to keep it going."
The 25-year-old made a successful comeback to the Indian side after nearly 18 months due to a knee-injury. Speaking of his rehabilitation, he said, “When the operation happened, there was some doubt in my mind. But when I went through rehab in the NCA for seven-eight months, then the doubt went out of my head." "I told the doctors and trainers to put as much load on me as possible, because I didn't want any recurrence after returning to full fitness. I wanted to start again from where I left off, and thankfully I have been able to do so. Hopefully I can keep going in the same vein."
"During my away time, my only focus was to reduce my weight and control my diet as much as possible because that would mean getting back to fitness would be easier. Even so I have lost nearly 14-15 kg, which went above because I was in bed for two months. So I had to work hard to lose it all and the result is for all to see now," Shami signed off.