Neither his 'skills' nor his 'temperament' exactly matched to play a 'second fiddle' to any other fast bowlers of his generation. But much of his career, Mohammad Shami has remained 'under the shadows' of senior players like Ishant Sharma or 'highlighted' youngsters like Jasprit Bumrah.
And still, he remains an "unsung hero" despite his many heroics with both red and white balls as well. Only recently, he had bagged a hat-trick against Afghanistan in the ICC World Cup in England. Shami yet again played a crucial role in helping India win the first test match against South Africa by 203 runs in Vishakhapatnam today.
"I always try to give my 100 per cent and play more and more matches for India. Yes, I try to mix it up as I swing the ball both ways. That gives me some wickets at the right time," Sham told official broadcasters in a post-match chat.
Shami is one of the most "consistent & real" pace bowler that India has ever produced, feels former India pace bowler Atul Wasan. "Look at his strike rate (no of balls taken for a wicket). Strike rate gives you an idea of the quality of a bowler and I am sure half of the wickets he got, have been clean bowled and rest caught behind wickets."
Shami is equally good with his beautiful 'outswingers' that troubles the top order and deadly 'inswingers' that "polish off" the lower order. A peek at his records speaks volumes about the high standards that he has set for himself. He has scalped 158 wickets in 43 Test matches and 130 wickets in just 70 ODIs while mostly staying away from 20-20 version of the game.
With a strike rate of 50.8, he has the all-time best strike rate for any Indian bowler who has taken above 100 test wickers and 2nd best overall after Jasprit Bumrah's 43.7 (62 wickets in 12 test match).