‘We needed to give him that break’: Bowling coach Paras Mhambrey defends decision to rest Shami for Indore Test

Missing the last Test at Indore as part of the Indian team’s rotation policy, Mohammad Shami didn’t quite hit the ground running in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. His first ball was way off the target, it was collected by Virat Kohli in the slip. The fifth ball was worse, it was so wide that it even beat the slips and rolled over the ropes. On a slow wicket, under the harsh sun, there were fears that India was wasting the new ball. On air, Sunil Gavaskar said that India shouldn’t have rested Shami for the third Test in Indore. He was of the view that since there was an 8-day gap before the final Test, Shami would have got sufficient rest and he also would have retained his rhythm.

As the day passed, Shami would improve. He came up with a couple of impressive spells where he bowled 17 overs and was the most successful bowler. Even on an unresponsive, he first got Labuschagne and later Handscomb to finish with figures of 2/65. But there were moments, early in the day he looked rusty and missing the rhythm that he had shown in the first two Tests of the series.

So, was the team management wrong in giving the in-form, full-of-beans Shami rest? In times of hectic schedule and workload management, this is a dilemma the think tanks of teams are dealing with. India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, at the end of Day 1 of the Border-Gavaskar series, shared the team’s thought process in asking India’s pace bowler to cool his heels in the last Test.

“We look at the workload of individual bowlers and the way we looked at Shami has bowled a lot. We needed to give him that break. For us, that is also an opportunity for someone like Siraj or Umesh to get a game. Looking after this series we have the World Test championship. We need to look at that as well. So going ahead I look at it that everyone gets an opportunity as that is also important. At this level I don’t see it as a problem, you at times have to rotate bowlers and it is important for the player as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shami, at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, had expressed his keenness to keep playing. He had said that no bowler likes to sit out if he is fit. “Who has the courage, which bowler or batsman has the himmat to say that he wants to sit out? No one even wishes to sit out. Of course, there is something called workload management. I would agree with it to an extent but at times I think there are some minus points in it as well. I feel that at times when you are in good form and in great rhythm, you shouldn’t stop playing. Of course, at times I feel, for the sake of recovery, I need to take a break. You have to do it smartly.”

There is also another factor that might have forced Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma to take their eyes away from their star bowler. Interestingly, the Shami decision was taken by the team management within days of the news emerging about Jasprit Bumarh needing surgery for his lower-back injury. With Shami taking the mantle of the team’s pace spearhead, in all formats, there was logic in wrapping him in cotton wool. With the almost two-month-long IPL around the corner, followed by the WTC final and 50-overs World Cup later in the year, India need to manage its pace resources smartly.

Source link

Leave a Comment