Birmingham: Pacer Mohammed Shami said his love for cricket helped him battle the off field problems that pegged him back a few months ago as he made an impressive comeback in the ongoing first Test against England here with three wickets.
It was a fine return for the 28-year-old Shami, who was accused of domestic violence and extra-marital affair by his wife some months back. He also sustained injuries after being involved in an accident and later missed the one-off Afghanistan Test for failing the yo-yo fitness test.
“(The tour of) South Africa was a long time ago and there have been some off field issues after that. I had to fight a lot in between but my effort was to keep doing what I love the most (cricket),” Shami told reporters after the end of the first day’s play here Wednesday.
“I wanted to just keep doing my job and then see what happens in my life. Whatever difficulties I face, first I wanted to play cricket and keep doing it. The result is in front of us,” added the Bengal pacer.
Shami, who was India’s highest wicket-taker with 15 scalps in the 1-2 loss to South Africa, said he was satisfied with his efforts on the field on the opening day.
“As a bowling unit and as an individual I am very happy today. This is the thing I have worked hard for and we have been able to bring it forward successfully,” Shami pointed out.
“There are ups and downs in life and in your family. But when playing for your country there is a responsibility and when you do that job properly, I think that’s the best thing. So I am very happy with today (Wednesday),” Shami added.
County stint aided Ashwin
Birmingham: Star of the first Test’s first day, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said Wednesday that a stint in county cricket and tweaking his bowling action paid dividends. “When I came here for county stint last year, first thing I realised is the speed with which the bowlers bowl here,” Ashwin, who had played for Worcestershire, told ‘BCCI.tv’. “So accordingly I adjusted my pace and the results are there for everyone to see.” The 31-year-old Indian also said he had worked on his bowling action. “In the last 12-18 months I was working on simplifying my action a bit and make sure I can get more body into the ball, try create something in the air and it worked really well,” he informed.