Shami focused on death-bowling skills

Mohammed Shami in his delivery stride AFP

India fast bowler Mohammed Shami has said he is working on improving his bowling skills in death overs, following his second four-wicket haul against West Indies, at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday. Shami, who had taken 4 for 66 in the first game of the series, took 4 for 33 in 9.3 overs in the second ODI and his key wicket of Dwayne Smith triggered off a collapse in the West Indies innings, helping India to a 48-run win.

"I have always been ready to bowl at any kind of situation. Be it bowling with the new ball, or in between innings or at the death, I have always been ready to take up whatever responsibilities are given to me at a given situation," Shami told bcci.tv. "Being a fast bowler I understand that it is very important to own up to the new ball and towards the fag end of the innings.

"I work hard at the nets to be ready for certain situations. During our practice sessions, we as bowlers mark certain areas to bowl at. While bowling at the practice sessions we keep shoes in front of the stumps and try to perfect our yorkers. It is something that really helps us to get the yorker right during the match and I believe we have been trying to get it right. I feel the yorkers are the most important thing for a bowler to have in his armoury if he has to get better while bowling at the death."

Bowling in the death overs has been one of India's weaknesses in the ODI format and Shami showed an ability to cope with the demands of the situation during the tour to England. In four ODIs, the bowler finished with eight wickets, the highest in the series, and said that he focused on finding reverse swing and bowling to his field in the last few overs.

"While bowling at the death you have to make sure that you bowl according to your field," he said. "If you bowl according to your field, then it gets tough for the batsmen to score runs off you. You have to keep in mind the fielding positions and the lengths you are going to bowl at.

"Also, reverse swing holds key. If a bowler gets good reverse swing then he can always put the batsmen in a spot of bother. It is not easy to pick the reverse swing and it is fun when you get your reverse swing right. I don't find it too difficult to bowl at the death because I know for a fact that the less mistakes I make the better it will be for me."