Born Sept 03, 1990, in Sahaspur village, Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. Mohammed Shami’s father was a fast bowler who diverged to farming. Among his four siblings who all had a penchant for fast bowling, Shami stood out as the one with immense potential.
In 2005, Shami’s father took serious note of his pace bowling skills and took him to Moradabad, to train him under a cricket coach, named Badruddin Siddique. Shami’s incredible potential and raw pace impressed his new coach so much that, Badruddin commended his father to send him to Kolkata as Shami could secure and enhance his prospects, better there.
He came under the apprenticeship of Debabrata Das in Kolkata at whose residence Shami also found a home to live. With Debabrata in charge, Shami’s caliber helped him make it to the U-22 Bengal side, impressing selectors from the state. Shami’s work ethics, speed and variations in his pace, subsequently saw him being sent to Mohun Bagan Club. He could now bowl in the nets to Sourav Ganguly, who so impressed of his talent brought him to the notice of the selectors. Shami’s pace and skills had walked him to the Bengal Ranji Team, in 2010. Two years of plucking wickets in aplenty on varied, driest, flattest of surfaces on domestic circuit the pacer was drafted into the India A team to tour the West Indies, in 2012. His aptitude in consonance with speed was unrelenting inspite of unfavorable flat surfaces.
Wasim Akram legendary Pakistani swing bowler referring to Shami’s dedication told OneIndia news, “The key strength in Shami I noticed after meeting with him for the first time at the nets of KKR was his tenacity. Naturally, he never used to give up. Even after the end of scheduled training at the KKR nets, sometimes I used to ask Shami whether he would like to continue bowling. And despite being exhausted after a rigorous practice session, Shami never refused. I can remember that I used to stand behind the wickets and he used to continue bowling only towards the stumps.”
Shami made sensational ODI debut against Pakistan, in Delhi, 2013 where he along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar took the wind out of the sails of Pakistani batsmen. He had bowled a record four maiden overs at them. His spell unraveled to the world a pride that we behold in the name of Mohd Shami. Shami was drafted in the side that toured Australia in 2013. Warming the bench for the first three matches, Shami was given a chance in the fourth where he snared three wickets. His wicket-taking ability was on display and it intensified the faith and conviction in him as he became a prominent asset for the national team. Shami’s upright seam position which adds weight to him being among the craftiest seam bowlers in the world today has held him in good stead.
Tours to New Zealand, the Asia Cup both in 2014 saw a bagful of return as he became the second-fastest Indian pacer to claim 50 wickets.
Shami’s injuries and comeback are a saga of the fight of a warrior, eagerness to do his job for team India which now heavily relied on him to seam up and swing, reverse swing, on even the most pace unfriendly, 22-yard strip. He knew he forced momentum towards India with him around so he carried that onus against all odds.
Shami played the World Cup of 2015 with an injured knee yet was the second-highest wicket taker for India with 17 wickets to his name sailing India to a spot in the semis. It was later revealed Shami had fluid sucked out of his knee two days before a match and turn up for practice on the eve of the match. Upon return, Shami had to undergo surgery for the injured knee. It was not before nine months that he would return to competitive cricket albeit at the domestic scene as a part of Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali tournaments of 2015. Shami missed the series against the visiting South African side, October 2015.
Shami returned to international test cricket on India’s tour of West Indies, July 2016 a full 18 months since his World Cup, claiming 4 wickets for 66 runs in the first innings.
But a hamstring injury saw him out of the team for the Asia Cup in 2016, in Bangladesh, the 2016-17 ODI tour to Australia. He had to skip the ODI series against New Zealand in October 2016. The hamstring pulled again forcing him out of Test Series versus the visiting English Team, in November 2016 midway in the first test at Rajkot.
Shami failed the BCCI’S Yo-Yo fitness test and had to miss the historic Afghanistan test.
He was selected for India’s tour of South Africa in 2018 and took 15 wickets in the 3-match test series which was the best performance by an Indian bowler. It was in the second test here that the pace ace took his 100th Test wicket. Yet he was not given a chance in the ODI’S that followed the 3 test matches.
Shami’s ODI career revived once again when the first choice seamers, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were rested
He achieved his 100th ODI wicket on India’s tour of New Zealand becoming the fastest Indian to the milestone in the number of matches
Once again he came back in the Indian side and this time with some supreme fitness. He was part of the 10 out of 11 Test matches that India played against England, West Indies and Australia.
Pakistan’s Tearaway Fast Bowler Shoaib Akhtar on his YouTube channel remarked about Shami:
” After India’s (50-over) World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up one day and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India. I told him not to lose heart but maintain fitness. The home series is coming and you will do well I said.
“I told Shami that I want him to become a tearaway pacer, running through batting line-ups. He has seam and swing, besides that he has reverse swing which very few bowlers in the sub-continent have. I told him you can become king of reverse swing,”
This finest exponent of reverse swing in India today, Shami, in ICC World Cup, 2019, became only the second Indian cricketer to claim a hat-trick in the world cup after Chetan Sharma in 1987 vs New Zealand. He has had to endure difficult phase in his personal life. Regardless he shouldered his role with that persistent extra effort in each of his spells. Donning India colors with the passion of a proud nationalist Mohd Shami had once famously entered into a spat with a fan in the stadia taking potshots at team India batters and the score. Such passion has only charged his lethal accuracy to combine forces with the control he has over reverse swinging the cherry and the white. Batsmen across the pitches & fields Shami stepped onto, have been stunned too often with his reverse swing but not before first having a Mohd Shami special crashing their stumps. Shami’s test match record, now building to ODI success, streams a guileless surrender of scalps, he has ferociously prized for India. As they say, a diligent warrior strikes harder emerging from battling himself, Shami has emerged leaner, fitter than ever before and much to our Ecstacy more effective than ever.