‘Prioritising fitness transformed Shami’

‘Prioritising fitness transformed Shami’

India's Mohammed Shami bowls at the nets during a training session in Southampton on Wednesday. AP/PTI

Mohammad Shami appeared relaxed even at the end of his long bowling session on an overcast Wednesday at the Hampshire Bowl where India held their first practice session following their easy win over Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday. After all, the pacer will be getting his first match on Saturday after sitting out three.

Coming off a good IPL, Shami would have been itching to have a go at the opposition but Virat Kohli’s decision to play two spinners meant that only one of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and him could play. The team management went with Bhuvneshwar whose type of bowling suits the English conditions. With Bhuvneshwar set to miss 2-3 matches, Shami will finally get his chance against Afghanistan here. 

While spending time on the bench must have been hard for an in-form bowler, this has easily been his best phase in his chequered career. Year 2018 was particularly hard for the right-arm quick who was ravaged by injuries and demoralised by personal issues.

Last June, ahead of Afghanistan’s maiden Test match in Bengaluru, Shami hit another low when he failed the Yo Yo fitness test. The setback, however, only acted as a catalyst in the emergence of a new Shami – fitter and faster.

“Him (Shami) failing the fitness test was a blessing in disguise,” said Shanker Basu, Indian team’s strength and conditioning coach. “After that, he was a changed man. He was so determined. The best part is he has changed his entire training regimen, I think training is now part of his lifestyle which never used to be the case before. Everything has changed over the last three, four years and he wasn’t the last person to get on to the bus but after that little bit of personal setbacks and failing that fitness test, he is a changed man. This is 2.0 version of Mohammed Shami,” Basu offered.

Basu said Shami is blessed with great physical attributes with an amazing gene.

“We all talk about intermittent fasting, and Mohammed Shami does intermittent fasting inadvertently, he doesn’t even know what it is, but he does it on his own. I think it's his distribution of fat, we have done his fat testing over three years and it is the same, he is a piece of work,” he pointed out

Intermittent fasting a diet regimen that cycles between brief periods of fasting, with either no food or significant calorie reduction, and periods of unrestricted eating.

Bhuvi works out

Injured paceman Bhuvneshwar had a brief work out under the watch of physio even as the rest of the Indian team went through their “nets.”

The paceman did jogging in short stretches for close to 15 minutes before sprinting up the stairs to the dressing room.

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