Mohammed Shami has once again courted controversy. This time around for bowling more than his stipulated quota of 15-17 overs per innings in Bengal’s Group B Ranji Trophy fixture against Kerala at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. The Australia-bound pacer, who is an integral part of the Indian Test team, was asked by the BCCI to play the ongoing Ranji Trophy match against Kerala on the condition that he would bowl not more than 15-17 overs per innings.
But on Wednesday, he rolled his arms for as many as 26 overs in the first innings.
“When you are playing a match for your state, the important thing is to fulfil your responsibility,” said Shami, returning with 26-3-100-3 at the end of Day Two.
“I was also feeling well and had no discomfort. The wicket was also doing well so I continued as long as I could… I decided on my own,” added Shami, who is India’s highest wicket-taker in Tests this year.
Shami said it was best to bowl in a match than during practice sessions.
“It was better to bowl for your team and state rather than practising somewhere else… The more you bowl here the better it will help in Australia. It was a good preparation. For me bowling in a match is the best preparation. I prefer that any day. I was feeling well to bowl at home after a long time. All my friends were here. It was after a long time I could play with my team,” Shami added.
Shami is the leading Indian wicket taker in Tests this year with 33 scalps in nine games.
Talking about his preparation for the Test series beginning next month Down Under, he said, “I’ve prepared well, had good training and match preparation. I’ve a practice match there. I will be ready for the Tests.”
Bengal coach Sairaj Bahutule also played down the issue. “He was absolutely willing to bowl so he continued. Nobody put pressure on him,” Bahutule said.
(With IANS inputs)