Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has said that he can get reverse swing without spitting, provided the shine on the ball is properly maintained.
The ICC is set to implement a ban on use of saliva to shine the ball when the sport is resumed after the coronavirus-forced lockdown as it feels spitting on the ball elevates the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
“There will be difficulties. We have been accustomed to using saliva since childhood. It’s been deeply ingrained … If you are a fast bowler, instinctively you apply saliva to shine the ball. But yes, if you can maintain the shine of the dry ball, it will definitely reverse,” Shami said in an Instagram chat with Rohit Juglan.
The ICC Cricket Committee headed by Anil Kumble, however, has said players can use sweat to polish the ball but Shami said it will not help a fast bowler.
“Sweat and saliva work differently. I don’t think it will help. I never tried bowling without saliva. Now because of Covid-19 pandemic, it’s very important to stop using saliva,” said Shami, whose mastery over the reverse swing has been one of the big plus of Indian team.
Shami on MS Dhoni
Shami said the players missed the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni on and off the field.
“I played in all the formats under him barring IPL. With regard to guidance, he will always treat his teammates in such a way that you won’t even feel that he is MS Dhoni.
“He is such a big player. I have a lot of memories about him. Now also we think, Mahi bhai will come and it will be fun playing,” he said.
“One thing I like is he (Dhoni) likes to sit with everyone and have dinner. There are always two-four people with him. We chat till late night, and these are the things that one miss.”
Shami on ICC T20 World Cup
With the fate of T20 World Cup in Australia still undecided, Shami said the players would look to play a tournament before going there directly.
“We are not machines, can’t just switch on and off. As a sportsman, your body needs to get into rhythm. No one has touched bat and ball in this period. So a 10-15 days camp or a couple of series before the World Cup will be helpful to get back the momentum.”
Shami looking forward for Australia Test series
A key member of India’s historic win over Australia in 2018-19, Shami further said he’s looking forward to the upcoming four-match Test series later this year.
“We had partied long with team and family members on the top floor. We remember that series no one played selfishly. We want to take challenge anywhere. It will be one to watch and play for,” he said about the upcoming series in Australia.
Shami on hat-trick against Afghanistan
Shami rated his hat-trick in India’s match against Afghanistan in the World Cup last year as the best moment of his cricketing career.
It has been a great comeback story for Shami, overcoming a career-threatening knee injury in 2015 and then personal trauma in early 2018 when his wife Hasin Jahan labelled criminal charges of assault against him and he was later dropped from BCCI’s Central Contracts.
How Shami mastered the art of swing bowling
Shami spoke how he worked on bowling with the seam upright by throwing a kookaburra seam up to the ceiling fan while he had a fractured knee.
“I took a Kookaburra and threw it at ceiling fan so that it comes back with seam kissing the fan. I kept doing that for six-seven months lying in my bed with fractured knee,” he said.
On personal front, he said: “If you think as a sportsman, you can’t stay away from cricket. But when you think of family, and life, you will have sleepless nights and will keep troubling you… Family problems are more challenging.”
Shami distributes food and water to migrants
Moved by the plight of migrant workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Shami has started distributing food packets and masks to those travelling back to their homes, while also arranging three flights from Mumbai to Delhi for them.
Besides, setting up food distribution centres for the poor migrants near his house in Sahaspur, Uttar Pradesh, Shami is also trying to arrange three Mumbai-Delhi flights for the stranded workers.
Shami said he has been involved with the relief work for a long time and it gives him immense pleasure.
As #IndiaFightsCorona, @MdShami11 comes forward to help people trying to reach home by distributing food packets & masks on National Highway No. 24 in Uttar Pradesh. He has also set up food distribution centres near his house in Sahaspur.
We are in this togethe pic.twitter.com/gpti1pqtHH
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 2, 2020
“For the past two three months we are going through difficult times and there are difficulties for common man. We 2,3 friends are doing this COVID work for a long time. I can’t do it alone. I thank all my friends who are helping, we are organising bhandars (community kitchen) from where food is distributed,” Shami said in an Instagram Live chat.
“We are making a small effort to arrange three flights from Mumbai to Delhi for the people who are stuck there. Those who want to come to Delhi. We are trying to arrange whatever possible flight.”
The India pacer thanked the local administration for their help and support.
“The buses which come to and fro from Delhi know where we are serving food and where people can eat. The administration, including the SSP, SDM and officials of health department have helped u a lot.”
Shami said they have set up a helpline number for the stranded workers and he can also be reached directly through his Instagram page.
“We are just trying to continue our effort so that most of the people who are stuck reach their homes safe. You can directly message me on my Instagram page or mail me. If you are in more trouble you can contact my manager directly, the number of him will be posted.
“Stay safe and stay home and never give up, keep fighting. We will see you soon on cricket field,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the BCCI posted a video of Shami, who is seen wearing a mask and gloves, handing out food packets and masks to people travelling in buses and those at the food distribution centres.