1. Shami defends Bumrah
“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. “What Bumrah has achieved for India, how can you ever forget that? So if you think positively, then it’s good for the player and his confidence also,” Bumrah’s senior partner said after taking an impressive 3 for 18 against New Zealand XI.
2. Shami raps critics
Shami didn’t forget to take a dig at critics who he feels have a job to comment, forgetting that Bumrah is 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,” Shami said. What baffles Shami is how people’s perception changes if a player goes through a sudden slump in form. “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.”
3. Shami on being a mentor
Shami enjoys the mantle of an elder statesman who is ready to mentor the likes of Navdeep Saini. Asked about what kind of role experience plays, the Bengal speedster replied: “Experience matters as you don’t panic easily. You have faced different situations and know what to do. That is valuable. So, when an experienced player is around and you bring a youngster, he matures quickly. So, in our team, we guide our youngsters, joke and laugh with them, make them feel comfortable so that they don’t feel that there is a distance between seniors and juniors.”
4. Shami lauds Saini
Shami was all praise for Navdeep Saini, who has been a find for India in white-ball cricket. “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.”