World Cup 2015: Mohammad Shami thanks Shoaib Akhtar for advice

| Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 15:30
First Published |

Perth: Crediting Shoaib Akhtar for bringing back rhythm in his bowling, Indian pacer Mohammad Shami has said the former Pakistan speedster advised him to shorten his run-up, which has helped him increase his pace.

"The recent change in run-up has surely increased my pace. So I am continuing with it and hoping that it pays rich dividends. I did have a chat with Shoaib (Akhtar) bhai and he suggested that I should reduce my big strides. So shortened my stride and it has worked. It (the new run-up) is smooth and comfortable and it has also increased my pace," Shami said in a post-match chat on Star Sports.

Shami, who returned to action against West Indies after missing a game due to a niggle, bagged three wickets at the WACA to help table-toppers India register their fourth straight win and book a quarter-final berth from pool B.

With the Men in Blue now in New Zealand for their final two games of the league, Shami is keen to carry on the good work without making any more changes to his action.

"I don't want to change much in my action. And most of the ex-players have advised me against making any major changes to my action. It is always a double edged sword, to change one's action. It can work for you or go against you. I don't want go through this confusion and I am satisfied with the little change that I have made to my run-up, said the Bengal medium-pacer.

"I do not want to make much changes to my action or strategy in New Zealand as well. Very happy with how things have panned out and will just focus on my line and length and would like to continue my good work," he added.

Shami, who is India's leading wicket taker in the World Cup so far with nine scalps in three games, said that after playing on different pitches around the world he loved the Perth experience.

"I have enjoyed bowling in Perth because I was getting the bounce and carry. Wherever I have gone, I have found flat wickets. I had heard a lot about Australian wickets, but did not see them in the Test matches but now I see that in Perth," said the 24-year-old bowler.

On Friday, Shami also got the all-important wicket of Chris Gayle, result of a well thought-out plan that turned things around for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side.

"Our fine leg was being wasted, so after having a chat with Mahi bhai, we shifted the fine leg to away. We were trying to use the swing and the bounce of the wicket. We capitalised on both the options and it worked," he said.

"When we started off there was swing and bounce so we kept that in mind and executed our plans accordingly. We focused on line and length and also use the available swing in the wicket," he added.

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