Even though Mohammed Shami asserted that he could make the ball talk even without saliva; however, he does have a suggestion to maintain the balance between bat and ball. In the post-COVID-19-world, bowlers would have to deal without bringing saliva into play temporarily. Hence, the same has triggered plenty of discussions amongst former and current cricketers.
The ICC Cricket Committee, led by Anil Kumble, imposed a ban on the usage of saliva in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. From Wasim Akram, Rahul Dravid, Ajit Agarkar, to Brett Lee, Jasprit Bumrah, and Pat Cummins all these renowned athletes have called for alternatives to keep the sport balanced. While using sweat is still permitted, it remains to be seen if it brings the same effect. The game, which is already tilted slightly towards batsmen, could further go that way.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, Mohammed Shami admits that shining the ball helps in attaining swing and movement and that it would affect to a certain extent. Even though the Bengal speedster acknowledges that bowlers would have to prepare differently, he calls for bowler-friendly decks to be in play.
“It is true that shining the ball with saliva does play a role in getting the ball to reverse swing. It might affect it to a certain extent. Bowlers need to prepare in a different way now. But this rule won’t be a permanent one I am sure. Everyone will have to adjust to this new rule. It remains to be seen how bowlers will practise and prepare for this.
Things will be clearer when we are given guidelines by the BCCI and train accordingly before matches. Bowlers will lose out on some advantages for sure, but there is no point moping. Perhaps the pitches could be prepared to give some advantage to bowlers.”
“Bowling alongside him actually works quite well for me” : Mohammed Shami
The 29-year old went on to say praise his fast bowling colleague Jasprit Bumrah saying that they both compliment each other well and adjust exceptionally well according to the conditions and situations. Shami went on to claim that Bumrah’s pace and accuracy is tremendous.
“I am lucky to have Bumrah bowling from the other end. His accuracy and pace is just spot on. We talk a lot off the field and on the field too. We understand each other’s strengths and adjust well according to the conditions.
Bowling alongside him actually works quite well for me. When the batsmen are trying to negate his pace, I come in to bowl and surprise them with my swing. Bumrah is a tremendous bowler and I learn a lot from him.”