Independent Online

Friday, December 8, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

India’s ‘Ferrari’ Mohammed Shami hailed after convincing performance against New Zealand

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Matt Henry during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between India and New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala

The 33-year-old Mohammed Shami (pictured) sat out the first four games of the Cricket World Cup but seized his opportunity when all-rounder Hardik Pandya missed Sunday's match through injury. Picture: Money Sharma/AFP

Published Oct 23, 2023


India's Mohammed Shami was on Monday described as being "like a Ferrari" following his performance in the Cricket World Cup victory over New Zealand as a career which has witnessed a series of professional and private highs and lows took another twist.

Shami claimed 5-54 as India made it five wins in five with a four-wicket victory over the Kiwis in Dharamsala to move closer to the semi-finals.

The 33-year-old sat out the first four games of the tournament but seized his opportunity when all-rounder Hardik Pandya missed Sunday's match through injury.

Shami remains India's most experienced quick in a fast bowling pack which includes Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

Pathan sings Shami praises

"Mohammed Shami is like Ferrari. Whenever you take it out of the garage it will give u the same speed thrill and joy to ride every time," former India seamer Irfan Pathan wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

On Sunday, Shami's first ball rattled the stumps of New Zealand opener Will Young who inside-edged the delivery onto his stumps.

However, it was his bowling at the death that allowed India to restrict New Zealand to 273 all out after a strong start by Daryl Mitchell, who hit 130, and Rachin Ravindra, who made 75.

Shami was so relentless that he was even on a hat-trick in the 48th over. Lockie Ferguson denied him that particular moment.

Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif joined in the Shami salutes.

"The legend of Mohammed Shami grows with every ball, every innings and every game. Shami you inspire. Congrats on fifer," wrote Kaif on social media.

Shami now has 19 wickets in his last five World Cup games and said "everyone should enjoy each other's success" when asked about his feelings on sitting out of the first four matches.

Since making his debut in 2013, he has taken 176 wickets in 95 ODI matches with a strike rate of 27.

Hate messages

Shami's performance on Sunday came almost two years after the Indian hero faced vicious social media attacks.

As a Muslim in Hindu-majority India, he was the prime target for blame when the team was defeated by arch-rivals Pakistan at the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup.

Thousands of hate messages described Shami as a "traitor" and trolls made wild accusations of match-fixing.

Superstar teammate Virat Kohli, who was captain at the time, came out in support of Shami and launched a blistering attack on his team's critics, terming them as "spineless" and “pathetic".

Shami is no stranger to controversy after a feud with his wife made national headlines following which the Board of Control for Cricket in India withheld his contract in 2018.

His estranged wife has levelled allegations of domestic violence. Shami has denied any wrongdoing.

Shami later admitted to battling depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts due to weight gain during an injury layoff.