Rohit’s leadership and Shami’s resurgence have been central to India’s success. The exit of Hardik Pandya from the World Cup, due to an ankle injury sustained in a match against Bangladesh in Pune, has been a turning point for Mohammed Shami. Prasidh Krishna replaced Pandya in the squad.
Shami’s performance has been exceptional, warranting the Player of the Series award. Despite cricket often favoring batsmen, and with Virat Kohli leading the batting charts, Shami’s bowling has remained a highlight. His approach, consistently challenging the batsmen with difficult deliveries, has been a key factor in his success.
Shami’s journey, as recounted by his childhood coach Badruddin Siddiqui, illustrates his resilience and determination. From his early days in Muradabad to the World Cup, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his craft, even when initially kept out of the playing XI.
Shami’s World Cup statistics are remarkable. He took 23 wickets at an average of 9.3 in just six matches, making him the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. His performance included ‘fivers’ in three out of six games, earning him praise from England’s Test Captain Ben Stokes, who referred to him as the “bowler of the tournament”.
Despite challenges in his personal life, including a well-documented divorce battle with his wife Hasin Jahan, Shami’s focus remained on cricket. His contributions have been crucial for India’s World Cup campaign, especially in the lead-up to the final.
The final against Australia is of high stakes, with dignitaries like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles attending. Expectations are high from team leaders like Rohit, Kohli, Iyer, Rahul, and Shami. This match offers Shami another golden opportunity to showcase his skill and add to his impressive tally of wickets.