IPL 2021: Indian Pace Stalwart Mohammad Shami Regains Fitness and Looks All Set to Play for the Punjab Kings

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IPL 2021 Indian Pace Stalwart Mohammad Shami Regains

Indian fast bowling superstar Mohammad Shami suffered a freakishly devastating injury during the first test match against Australia in December. While batting, he got hit on his right arm by a rising delivery which ended up fracturing his arm. That injury happened in the same match that India were bundled out for just 36 runs. So that freak incident literally added injury to the insult. Since that injury, Mohammad Shami stayed out of the Indian team and his road to recovery was pretty much kept under wraps so far. No official confirmation came about his injury and as far as most fans in India were concerned, he was sidelined indefinitely from the Indian team. However, a new announcement was made by Punjab Kings coach and legendary leg spinner Anil Kumble about the status of Mohammad Shami. Let’s find out more about it.

Mohammad Shami Injury Update

How did Mohammad Shami get injured?

During the test match against Australia in Adelaide, Mohammad Shami was hit by a rising short ball from Australian pacer Pat Cummins. 

After the injury, Shami tried to go on but the pain was too much and he was forced to retire hurt. After the match, captain Virat Kohli spoke to the press and gave an update about Shami’s injury. “No news on Shami, he’s going for a scan now. Was in a lot of pain, couldn’t even lift his arm. We’ll probably know in the evening what happens,” Kohli said. 

Has Mohammad Shami recovered from his injury?

Mohammad Shami plays for the Punjab Kings in the IPL and he is one of the spearheads of the team’s bowling attack. Anil Kumble, coach of the Punjab Kings squad just broke the news that the pacer has completed his rehab and recovery and is good to go for IPL 2021. This will be great news for all Punjab Kings fans who were eagerly awaiting Mohammad Shami’s return to the lineup for the 14th edition of the tournament which kicks off on April 9th. 

“He is fine as far as I know. He is coming to the biobubble for the quarantine and he will be out in a few days. I know he hasn’t played any matches since his injury but he is good to go. We are really looking forward to him playing a few practice games and then getting ready for the first game,” Kumble told the media.

The Punjab Kings haven’t really been one of the strong performers in recent years. Over the last two editions of the tournament, they could only accumulate a total of 12 points from 14 matches. As a result, they spent the most in the IPL 2021 mini auction, a staggering ₹53.2 crores in total. They spent ₹14 crore to snag Australian pacer Jhye Richardson, while also acquiring the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen and Saurabh Kumar.

“I think in the smaller auctions, people tend to forget that the options are minimal. Every team wants to reinforce and fill the gaps and since the options are lesser, you tend to spend a lot more on the players. We wanted to have a squad which gives us options in case we want to rotate a few of our fast bowlers. Even our young Indian pacers are exciting. It is a fairly long tournament and the conditions will be pretty hot,” Kumble added.

What did Mohammad Shami say about his return from injury?

After suffering a freak fracture while batting in Australia, Indian pace stalwart Mohammad Shami claimed that he has returned to full fitness and was looking forward to making important contributions for the Punjab Kings squad in IPL 2021. Shami fractured his wrist after being hit by a short ball from Australian pacer Pat Cummins in the first Test in Adelaide.

The 30 year old pacer had been an iron man until that injury and hadn’t really missed any significant time because of any kind of injury. However, this injury was a freak accident and Shami couldn’t really do anything about it. He just focused on his recovery at the NCA, from where he got released on March 20 ahead of the IPL.

“I am absolutely fine and read to go. The injury while batting was unfortunate as I have not had any fitness issues for a long time but this was something I couldn’t do anything about but it is part of the game,” Shami said.

“I always look at the positives. The last season was good for me and hope I can carry that form into the IPL. Because of the injury, I got more time to prepare for a big tournament like the IPL.

“I was at NCA most of the time. I could have gone back home but because of the current COVID environment, I decided to spend more time at NCA as the facilities are much better and you can follow the COVID protocols.”

Mohammad Shami had a great IPL 2020, the best IPL season of his career as a matter of fact. He scalped a total of 20 wickets at an economy of 8.57. However, despite his stellar efforts with the ball, the lack of a second definitive bowling option led to the Punjab Kings struggling a lot. Bowlers other than Mohammad Shami leaked runs in the death overs, eventually costing the team a play-off berth in another forgettable campaign overall.

The team has roped in Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Moises Henriques to plug that gap.

What did Mohammad Shami say about Punjab Kings’s death bowling option for IPL 2021?

“We can’t change the past. I tried my best last season and also helped the fellow pacers whenever I could. We got good overseas players now. It is a stronger squad so we should do better this time,” said Shami of the team which won five games in a row but also lost matches they should have won, dashing their playoff prospects.

“Your mind has to be absolutely clear in the shortest format. As a unit we did good work but lost close matches we should have won. The support staff and players were frank with each other about that.

“Our death bowling seems better compared to last year, so we should do better.”

What did Mohammad Shami say about life inside the bio-bubble?

Bio bubbles, which have become a norm across all sports leagues in the world, have proved quite successful in keeping players safe from the virus. However, they have taken a toll on the mental health of players. Indian captain Virat Kohli spoke about the bio-bubble life which has become the norm amid the pandemic. Mohammad Shami also said that the bio bubble was very tough on the players. “It is very tough as you can’t meet your friends and family the way you usually do. That helps take your mind off the game which is very important. But right now it is the need of the hour. It is better to have the bubble than not having the event at all,” Shami concluded. 

Here’s a compilation of some of the best bowling performances of Mohammad Shami:

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