Mohammad Shami was considered one of the most promising faces of the art of pace bowling in the world cricket. But with a degraded level of fitness and controversy regarding his personal life, Shami was not the same bowler anymore a few months back. He was literally struggling for form and rhythm. But in the first test against England, at Edgbaston, a completely different Shami was seen, fitter, more confident and bowling with the same amount of intensity that he used to bowl with at the beginning of his career. His personal coach, Badruddin Siddiqi, in an exclusive chat with the, reveals how he worked on his fitness and how he has remodelled his action.

Here are the excerpts:

Cricket Soccer (CS): In Edgbaston test, we saw glimpses of vintage Mohammad Shami, who left a mark with his pace and swing. How happy are you to see him make a comeback?

Badruddin Siddiqi (BS): I’m very happy. Shami got dropped from the national team and was struggling to regain his fitness. He had gone through several injuries, especially the one he had in his knee. It’s extremely difficult for a pacer to cope up with a knee injury and make a comeback. But Shami worked hard and got rewarded.

CS: When was the last time that he practised under your supervision?

BS: We had an almost one-month session just before he left for England. He had a worse IPL and got dropped from the national team as well. He was upset. He came to his village at Amroha, Sahaspur in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He called me and asked for help. I told him, beta, I’m always with you. I assured him that he is going to make a brilliant comeback. The only thing which needed was to regain his confidence. He has a farmhouse in the village. There he laid a synthetic track and used to run for hours. He is someone who never likes to hit the gym. So we chalked out a different work routine altogether. He used to run for almost two hours a day. Besides, he used to follow the schedule prepared by the NCA (National Cricket Academy run by BCCI at Bengaluru) trainer. Thus, within a month, he became fitter. Regaining fitness is one of the key factors behind his impressive spell at Edgbaston.

CS: Has he remodelled his action?

BS: He has changed his strides while bowling on my advice. Actually, the longer your strides are, you are more likely to get injured as it increases pressure on the knees and we have to keep in mind that he has problems with his knees. Now he uses to run in with shorter strides which helps him to bowl quicker. Now he is a different bowler altogether.

CS: Was there any specific practice for the tour to England?

BS: Yes. In England, he is bowling with Duke ball. Shami is known for his skill with reverse swing. But with duke balls, it’s very difficult to get reverse swing. So Shami brought some Duke balls and practised with them at my Academy. He used to bowl 6 overs spell regularly. Thus he had a very good concept of how to bowl with Duke balls. It helps him a lot in England. He is seen to bowl in very good shape and rhythm there.

CS: How do you see his chances to make an impact on the rest of the test series? What would be your suggestions to him?


BS: He will definitely shine in the rest of the test series as well. He is very keen to get success this time. He is looking confident. All he has to do is to stick to the basics. I have already told him to bowl in proper channels and make the batsman play. That is the recipe for success in England.

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