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Not Skill, But Mental Demons Stand in Way of Shami’s Test Return

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: July 8, 2018, 2:14 PM IST
Not Skill, But Mental Demons Stand in Way of Shami’s Test Return

File image of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami. (AP Image)

New Delhi: With Jasprit Bumrah nursing a thumb injury and out of contention for the start of the Test series, there is some good news for the Indian team management as fast bowler Mohammed Shami has cleared his Yo-Yo test at the National Cricket Academy. But Shami’s frame of mind will still be a deciding factor when the selectors name the squad for the first couple of Test matches against England.

The fast bowler who failed the test ahead of the Afghanistan game has been working hard on his fitness and bowling at the NCA and is looking to get back into the team for the much-awaited 5-match series against England. The first Test starts at Edgbaston on August 1. Shami has been distracted ever since his wife Hasin Jahan alleged that the bowler had an affair with a Pakistani girl named Alisbah and also indulged in domestic violence against Jahan.

Speaking to CricketNext, a BCCI official who didn’t wish to be named said that Shami’s mental state will be a deciding factor when the selectors sit down to name the Test squad.

“It is not about his bowling ability. The selectors will have to decide if Shami has got his focus back after the issues at home had distracted him. The mental demons are the issue, not his game. If he is not mentally 100 per cent, he cannot fire on the field,” the official told CricketNext.

Childhood coach Badruddin affirmed that the fast bowler is feeling good and wants to go out and perform. The two will start training at the latter’s club in a day or two.

“We have been talking regularly and passing the fitness test has come as a big relief. These things can keep playing on your mind. Also, the issues on the home front is now not distracting him and he is at ease with himself. Shami was bowling at the NCA and now that he is back home we will start preparing for the England series in a couple of days,” he told CricketNext.

Shami had himself spoken about the issue with his wife playing on his mind just before the news of his failed Yo-Yo test came to light. "I couldn't perform well in last few months due to my family problems, but I am confident that things will change in England," he had said.

But on Friday, Shami posted the news on Twitter that he was done with his Yo-Yo test and was looking to come back soon.

First Published: July 8, 2018, 1:46 PM IST

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