Not long ago, Mohammed Shami wasn’t even part of the playing 11. Hardik Pandya’s injury, although unfortunate, brought the best fortune out for India’s bowling unit, disguised as Shami!
India is invincible, no doubt about it, but would it be as invincible as it is now, had Shami not been the part of playing 11? Maybe not. Out of 10 matches that India played, the pacer was benched for the first 4, still his records best any bowler playing in the tournament. 2 five-fers and one seven wicket haul in just 6 matches, 23 total wickets with best bowling strike rate of 10.91, Shami is bagging records after records with his amazing performance in the tournament.
Shami’s first fifer came against New Zealand, second against Sri Lanka, in the league stage, and third against New Zealand (again!) in the knockout round but this time it wasn’t just a fifer, it was a throbbing 7 wicket haul. Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Lockie Ferguson, and Tim Southee were all removed by Shami, who finished the match with 7/57. These were the best Indian bowling figures in One-Day Internationals. So far, the pacer went wicket-less only against Netherlands.
Shami has amassed 54 wickets at an incredible average of 12.90, an economy rate just over 5, and an incredible strike rate of 15.33 in 17 World Cup matches. With his outstanding performance, he is now the sixth highest wicket-taker ever, first being Australia’s Glenn McGrawth with 71 wickets in 39 matches.
With four five-wicket innings under his belt in Cricket World Cup history, Shami has taken the top spot in this category. Surely, the Men in Blue are prospering as a whole unit but the contribution of Shami can’t go unnoticed in their remarkable wins thus far.