SYDNEY: Ahead of their second Super 12 match against the Netherlands at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey feels that senior pacer Mohammed Shami has got a good understanding of his role in the T20I side considering the wealth of experience he's got after playing a lot of cricket.
On Sunday, Shami was picked over pacer Harshal Patel in India's playing eleven for their T20 World Cup campaign opener against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and picked the vital wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed while conceding 25 runs in his four overs as the 2007 champions won by four wickets in a thrilling fashion.
"The mandate which is very important is that everyone remains fit. In Shami's case, he has played a lot of cricket and has got the experience. Honestly, I don't have to tell a lot of things to him.
The discussions are around how the wickets are, how we can go about it, the additional options we have and can choose ball-wise or maybe about the batters, how would the surface behaves.
"So, we talk about a lot of options, and he has played a lot of cricket, so he understands the role, which doesn't need a lot of discussion," said Mhambrey in the pre-match press conference.
Shami, who had not played a single T20I since last year's World Cup in the UAE, was brought back into India's 15-man squad after pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the showpiece event due to back injury.
After missing the bilateral series at home against Australia and South Africa due to Covid-19, Shami bowled just one over in their warm-up match against Australia at Brisbane.
He defended 11 runs off the final over in Australia's chase, picking three wickets, including two coming off back-to-back yorkers.
"It all started from the NCA, like how he felt and the shape he was in. He put in the loads and numbers there. Whatever feedback we got, we are pretty happy about it.
In his case, he's very experienced, a very seasoned bowler, what you are going to get from him, that was sure. But the important bit was how he turned up after Covid-19, and we are pretty happy with the recovery.
"Whatever reports, feedback we got from NCA, we are pretty happy about it. In the match, he was in good frame, good space, whatever discussion we had, he was looking forward to this tournament.
When he started by bowling the first over in Australia, he looked in good rhythm, that also gave us a lot of confidence about what you will get from Shami. He's a champion bowler, no doubt," added Mhambrey.
With Shami and Hardik Pandya not trainign in India's practice session at Sydney on Tuesday, Mhambrey remarked that they need to take care of the fast bowlers with short rest days between matches.
"I think we are pretty sorted in terms of the planning, how to go about. From here on, every session that we have is an optional one in terms of maintenance, physiotherapy, and taking care of them.
It's important to have them in the best shape going into every game, and we are taking care of that as well (playing in different time zones)."
Asked about his assessment of India's bowling performance in keeping Pakistan to 159/8, Mhambrey opined, "I think the discussion you do and acknowledge it internally, that's important. As a team, if that player doesn't fetch you wickets, but bowls a crucial ball or over, we acknowledge that.
"Game will be like this and every individual understands that what is his role in the team. If he has done his role, then he is happy about it. As a team, we acknowledge it definitely, appreciate it and discussions happen a lot. So, we are pretty happy with it."
In the last five overs, India conceded 53 runs against Pakistan while picking three wickets at 10.6 runs per over. In the 19th over, which has been a huge achilles heel for the bowling attack in the past few matches, they conceded 14 runs. Mhambrey signed off by saying India have decided upon who would be the death overs specialists in the tournament.
"The end overs has been, not only for us, but it's been a challenge for other teams as well. If you look at the other teams as well, in the last game itself, people have gone for runs. We acknowledge that it's going to be a challenging phase. We have the bowlers and prepared for it.
"For us, we have identified the bowlers who will be our death specialists as well. In this format, you got to be adaptable, you got to be able to have other options available in case required. It may be a seam bowler, or spinner, you got to put in those challenges or think differently at times. But we have those bowlers, and have our plans sorted in that."