India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 1st day November 6, 2013

Shami's reverse-swing a honed art - coach

ESPNcricinfo staff
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India fastbowler Mohammed Shami picked up four wickets on his Test debut at Eden Gardens, but the fact that he bowled three of his victims with sharp reverse-swing did not surprise his childhood coach. Badruddin Siddique said Shami had been developing and honing the art from the time he played Under-16 age-group cricket.

"Shami had the ability to get reverse swing since he was 16 years old," Siddique told PTI. "He has practiced a lot to perfect the reverse delivery that comes into the right hander. He has done that a number of times in Ranji Trophy also.

"During junior-level tournaments in and around Moradabad, Shami would always request organisers to give him the old red balls used in the tournament. I would then watch him regularly polish one side and keep the shine of those semi-new balls. If he didn't get anyone, then he would get hold of little boys to stand on one side of the wall and just try to get reverse with high-arm action."

Shami used that skill to wreck West Indies on the opening day of the Test series. After the umpires changed the ball in the 40th over, Shami got the replacement to reverse-swing sharply into the right-handers. He bowled Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin in successive overs, hurrying the batsmen with skiddy pace, and ended the innings by breaching Sheldon Cottrell's defence to dismiss West Indies for 234.

"Eden Gardens is a ground that Shami knows like the back of his hand," Siddique said. "You need to know what length to hit on a particular strip and when it's Eden, Shami knows it better than a lot of others."

Having made his ODI debut in January this year, Shami was impressive in the three matches he played in the recently concluded one-dayers against Australia, taking seven wickets. Badruddin said he was confident that Shami would succeed in international cricket, and in the Test area in particular.

"Look at his first-class record. He has got almost four wickets per match (71 first-class wickets in 18 games). He works up international standard pace and with that he can swing the ball both ways. He has a good bouncer and you will see him bowling the delivery that reverses away in near future. The only thing he needs to develop is a potent slower delivery. Some people get better at the higher level and it holds true in case of Shami."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I am so happy being a typical Indian fan..I could see swing on an Indian wicket..see a fast bowler bending his back and getting fruitful results...also see the stumps being ripped off like it is no bodies business. This guy is good. The best part is he is slowly coming to his peak and hence should stay long. He doesn't experiment too much..or maybe the captain asked him not to...but all good for India. This guy is hitting the wood regularly!!! Who says we don't have fast bowlers. We are shaping up well. We should have three fast bowlers in our team anytime soon for cricket in Australia..South Africa..wherever. India is slowly growing FAST!..HAPPY!

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    shami ahmed can be a prospect for the 2015 world cup

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | November 8, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Terrific bowlinh by Shami. It may be premature to make comparisons with Waqar ,but Shami does have a terrfic length, line and reverse swing. Pace may be much slower but good enough to hurry the batsman. Appears to surprise the batsmen. Is faster than the run up and action would suggest. Just look at the dismissals of Samuels , Sammy Bolwed and LBW. Let is just hope he carries this on and not fall by thye wayside like RP Singh and Ishant Sharma. Ishant Sharma was a one serioes wonder that is the earliest one

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    as a Pakistan Fan, it is really good to see a Good Proper Fast bowler from India, i have a feeling that this guy is way better then Irfan, Sreeshant, Ishant and Vinay Kumar, but will take some time to be at the level of Zaheer Khan, the best thing about him is he is bowling with consistent pace, and yes he will get better with time, Please dont let him play any of the premier league, keep him for Test and One day only

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Fast bowlers require alot of care. I hope he is not spoiled or shall I say destroyed like Irfan pathan who was a fast bowling sensation with his swing when he came to the scene.

  • POSTED BY Riderstorm on | November 7, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @Deepfreezed Touche.. To all my colleague Indian fans. Let's reserve our celebrations and see if survives Intl' cricket for atleast 2 years. By the end of it, we'll know.

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Fine debut, but my concern is the longevity and consistency. We have seen innumerable fast bowlers from India making a promising debut and then vanishing into thin air.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Eorse on | November 7, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    Shami needs to avoid being a Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Ishant. How can Shami do this? Simple: No parties, No PR or news stunts, etc. Just focus on bowling, rest, exercise, and read/breathing cricket. Not much. The only way he will avoid being a Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Ishant. Remember: Shami is not in the same league as Jimmy A. from UK, Dale S. from SA, and Mitchell J. from Aus. These guys: focus on their craft and avoid distractions. The reason Indian bowlers are the worst: they are easily distracted and are not serious about work ethic. Example: Harbhajan, Ishant. Enough said.

  • POSTED BY Savvy-Cricket-Analyst on | November 7, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Happy to know hitherto unknown capabilities of fast bowler Shami Ahmed. We need to make sure that he is used carefully by not over-using him, giving him adequate rest by rotating bowlers, encourage him to strengthen his body which could add an extra 3 to 4 kmph of pace which would be handy. Also, it seems an injustice has been done to Dinda just on the basis of beating he received in IPL. He is a good upcoming prospect. Need to give him good opportunities. We have great new fast bowlers like Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Pankaj Singh, Sandeep Sharma, etc who need to be nurtured & encouraged by creating pacer friendly pitches in the country. BCCI being the richest cricket entity in the world, should use its deep pockets to prepare some bouncy pitches. Otherwise on the current dead pitches, which are grave-yards of pace bowlers, even Shami, Ishant, Bhuvneshwar, Ishwar Pandey all would go the way Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra & Munaf Patel have gone. Worldcup 2015 will be on bouncy pitches.

  • POSTED BY I_Love_My_India on | November 6, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    @Arrow011, I agree with you. But if Ashwin or any spinner had taken these 4 wickets, he probably would not have gotten this much attention. India has more spinning tracks than the ones which would help a fast bowler. In one of those kinds of pitches if a fast bowler could get a set batsman's wicket by bending his back, it is a good thing. I hope Shami and BK could continue the same form and stay out of injuries. It was injuries which made all these good pace bowlers like Ishant, Varun, Umesh, Irfan, Zak and the one and only Sreesanth to reduce pace and thus could not repeat what they were good at.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I am so happy being a typical Indian fan..I could see swing on an Indian wicket..see a fast bowler bending his back and getting fruitful results...also see the stumps being ripped off like it is no bodies business. This guy is good. The best part is he is slowly coming to his peak and hence should stay long. He doesn't experiment too much..or maybe the captain asked him not to...but all good for India. This guy is hitting the wood regularly!!! Who says we don't have fast bowlers. We are shaping up well. We should have three fast bowlers in our team anytime soon for cricket in Australia..South Africa..wherever. India is slowly growing FAST!..HAPPY!

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    shami ahmed can be a prospect for the 2015 world cup

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | November 8, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Terrific bowlinh by Shami. It may be premature to make comparisons with Waqar ,but Shami does have a terrfic length, line and reverse swing. Pace may be much slower but good enough to hurry the batsman. Appears to surprise the batsmen. Is faster than the run up and action would suggest. Just look at the dismissals of Samuels , Sammy Bolwed and LBW. Let is just hope he carries this on and not fall by thye wayside like RP Singh and Ishant Sharma. Ishant Sharma was a one serioes wonder that is the earliest one

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    as a Pakistan Fan, it is really good to see a Good Proper Fast bowler from India, i have a feeling that this guy is way better then Irfan, Sreeshant, Ishant and Vinay Kumar, but will take some time to be at the level of Zaheer Khan, the best thing about him is he is bowling with consistent pace, and yes he will get better with time, Please dont let him play any of the premier league, keep him for Test and One day only

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Fast bowlers require alot of care. I hope he is not spoiled or shall I say destroyed like Irfan pathan who was a fast bowling sensation with his swing when he came to the scene.

  • POSTED BY Riderstorm on | November 7, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @Deepfreezed Touche.. To all my colleague Indian fans. Let's reserve our celebrations and see if survives Intl' cricket for atleast 2 years. By the end of it, we'll know.

  • POSTED BY on | November 7, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Fine debut, but my concern is the longevity and consistency. We have seen innumerable fast bowlers from India making a promising debut and then vanishing into thin air.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Eorse on | November 7, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    Shami needs to avoid being a Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Ishant. How can Shami do this? Simple: No parties, No PR or news stunts, etc. Just focus on bowling, rest, exercise, and read/breathing cricket. Not much. The only way he will avoid being a Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Ishant. Remember: Shami is not in the same league as Jimmy A. from UK, Dale S. from SA, and Mitchell J. from Aus. These guys: focus on their craft and avoid distractions. The reason Indian bowlers are the worst: they are easily distracted and are not serious about work ethic. Example: Harbhajan, Ishant. Enough said.

  • POSTED BY Savvy-Cricket-Analyst on | November 7, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Happy to know hitherto unknown capabilities of fast bowler Shami Ahmed. We need to make sure that he is used carefully by not over-using him, giving him adequate rest by rotating bowlers, encourage him to strengthen his body which could add an extra 3 to 4 kmph of pace which would be handy. Also, it seems an injustice has been done to Dinda just on the basis of beating he received in IPL. He is a good upcoming prospect. Need to give him good opportunities. We have great new fast bowlers like Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Pankaj Singh, Sandeep Sharma, etc who need to be nurtured & encouraged by creating pacer friendly pitches in the country. BCCI being the richest cricket entity in the world, should use its deep pockets to prepare some bouncy pitches. Otherwise on the current dead pitches, which are grave-yards of pace bowlers, even Shami, Ishant, Bhuvneshwar, Ishwar Pandey all would go the way Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra & Munaf Patel have gone. Worldcup 2015 will be on bouncy pitches.

  • POSTED BY I_Love_My_India on | November 6, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    @Arrow011, I agree with you. But if Ashwin or any spinner had taken these 4 wickets, he probably would not have gotten this much attention. India has more spinning tracks than the ones which would help a fast bowler. In one of those kinds of pitches if a fast bowler could get a set batsman's wicket by bending his back, it is a good thing. I hope Shami and BK could continue the same form and stay out of injuries. It was injuries which made all these good pace bowlers like Ishant, Varun, Umesh, Irfan, Zak and the one and only Sreesanth to reduce pace and thus could not repeat what they were good at.

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | November 6, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    So happy to see a young fast bowler arrive to compliment India's batting. India never had a good opening bowling pair. The likes of Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Zahir Khan had to toil alone to price out few wickets with the new ball. Hope Shami maintains his fitness and works hard on his game to become a permanent member of the Indian team. Wishing you a long and successful career.

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | November 6, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Wait for Indian fans to claim that this guys is the best bowler to ever walk the earth just after one game. All of a sudden all pace bowling troubles are solved.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    I just wish that he doesnt loose his pace like Ishant sharma, Munaf Patel. Want to see Zaheer khan back

  • POSTED BY RajuallenEmanuel on | November 6, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    The one good thing about Shami is he never tries to bowl slow delivery, and from Indian point of view, he should never try to practice it. The reason is Indians have bowlers who knows only to bowl slower balls and short pitch balls(I'm not talking about Ishant..lol.).

    For me, he just have to continue doing what he is currently doing in the international level in his short career.

    Bowl Full, Allow the ball to swing. occasional pacy Short balls. Yorkers at the death overs.

    He is the only bowler from both the sides who bowled - that magical and nowadays the rarest delivery so called - "Yorker" at consistent basis with ease, in the recently concluded ODI series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Lets hope he got a very long career, india needs him more than he needs india - in fact world cricket needs good player.....#improvefitness -he can go longer

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | November 6, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Good selection to have him debut on his home ground. Eden Garden has always been a ground where seamers can use the old ball. But usually it happens in the third session not the second.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | November 6, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Shami didn't disappoint me. In fact, he is very impressive. He is now a high 130s bowler on an average. I would want to see him convert that into a low 140s bowler on an average. Those extra 3-4 kmph on an average will give him a slight edge in beating the batsmen with pace. I hope he is in good hands.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    i am proud of him.placid indian wickets favourable for spin,he bent his back hit the deck at 140 kmph and destroyed the windies batting.kudos to him and long way to go for him and spearhead the indian bowlig attack.all the best shami

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Shami, Yadav, Mohit and Kumar it is not a bad bunch of bowlers to have. I think Ishant should be called only for handing out caps to debutant pace bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | November 6, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Shami keep swinging it at pace , and try to learn to reverse both ways even the great Steyn swings it around 135 k's only when he seams he hits 150 so what pace you have got is adequate for swing bowling..keep working so amazing and inspiring to see someone work hard and achieve. Try not to loose pace like Irfan did he lost his amazing swing also then.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | November 6, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    In India take few wickets in debut & the press makes a mountain of a mole hill. Ishant sharma is a perfect example. In the start of his career he was compered with Brett Lee & went down hill like a gas exhausted balloon. In India we have good spinners & spinners are the ones who really win matches for India.

  • POSTED BY concerned_cricketer on | November 6, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Congratulations on a fantastic dream debut! Prayers that you may become the next spearhead of the Indian pace attack and fill the large boots that will be left by Zak.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 6, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Shami, B Kumar, Yadav and Jadeja will be a good attack on foreign soil.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | November 6, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Nice work by Shami. If what the junior coach is saying about Shami is true, then he comes across like a hard working cricketer. There are tons of opportunities for bowlers especially pace bowlers in Indian team. Youngsters should realise this and work on their game.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Impressive Debut for Shami!!! All the best and keep it up

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    All the best Shami! Hope you maintain your speed and skills for your entire career unlike our previous fast bowlers who slowed down as their career progressed. You can be a lethal combination with Bhuvi and Umesh for which India is searching for long.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    All the best Shami! Hope you maintain your speed and skills for your entire career unlike our previous fast bowlers who slowed down as their career progressed. You can be a lethal combination with Bhuvi and Umesh for which India is searching for long.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Impressive Debut for Shami!!! All the best and keep it up

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | November 6, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Nice work by Shami. If what the junior coach is saying about Shami is true, then he comes across like a hard working cricketer. There are tons of opportunities for bowlers especially pace bowlers in Indian team. Youngsters should realise this and work on their game.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 6, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Shami, B Kumar, Yadav and Jadeja will be a good attack on foreign soil.

  • POSTED BY concerned_cricketer on | November 6, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Congratulations on a fantastic dream debut! Prayers that you may become the next spearhead of the Indian pace attack and fill the large boots that will be left by Zak.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | November 6, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    In India take few wickets in debut & the press makes a mountain of a mole hill. Ishant sharma is a perfect example. In the start of his career he was compered with Brett Lee & went down hill like a gas exhausted balloon. In India we have good spinners & spinners are the ones who really win matches for India.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | November 6, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Shami keep swinging it at pace , and try to learn to reverse both ways even the great Steyn swings it around 135 k's only when he seams he hits 150 so what pace you have got is adequate for swing bowling..keep working so amazing and inspiring to see someone work hard and achieve. Try not to loose pace like Irfan did he lost his amazing swing also then.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Shami, Yadav, Mohit and Kumar it is not a bad bunch of bowlers to have. I think Ishant should be called only for handing out caps to debutant pace bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | November 6, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    i am proud of him.placid indian wickets favourable for spin,he bent his back hit the deck at 140 kmph and destroyed the windies batting.kudos to him and long way to go for him and spearhead the indian bowlig attack.all the best shami

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | November 6, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Shami didn't disappoint me. In fact, he is very impressive. He is now a high 130s bowler on an average. I would want to see him convert that into a low 140s bowler on an average. Those extra 3-4 kmph on an average will give him a slight edge in beating the batsmen with pace. I hope he is in good hands.