India beat New Zealand in Wellington by 35 runs in a close contest to win the five-match ODI series 4-1 and coach Ravi Shastri has come out in immense praise of Mohammed Shami among others.
Speaking in the post-match show along with Sunil Gavaskar and Simon Doull, Shastri heaped praise on Shami for his performances in the last six months. He added that he is proud to see Shami reacting positively to disappointment and reckons the pacer is one of the best in the world at the moment.
"One man, if I have to single out, over the last five or six months is the man who took the man of the series today (Shami). It hurt him when he got the kick up the backside and he was dropped from the side for [failing] the yo-yo test. Went back, did the hard yards, came back fit and has not broken down since. Across all formats, he has been simply outstanding. Right through this series, whenever he has played, he has given us those early breakthroughs," Shastri said.
Doull, who has always been impressed with Shami's skills also chipped in saying that he's bowling as quick as he did when he burst onto the scene while having the best seam position in the world.
"[He's bowled with] great pace too. I was about to say the same thing, he has impressed me the most of anyone. Shami's pace has been back up to where it was probably three years ago – 144-145 [kmph], hitting that seam. He's got the best seam presentation along with Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) in the world at the moment."
Furthering the discussion on seam position, Shastri went on to add that Shami discusses with the bowling coach about the seam positions of various bowlers around the world.
"[Shami has been] very impressive. In fact, now that you mention seam position – he was showing Bharat Arun this morning Anderson's ball comes like this and someone else's comes like this (gesturing seam positions)."
He added that Arun asked Shami to keep doing what he does because there is nobody in world cricket quite like him.
"Your seam position, they must be looking at your seam position – the way it is coming out, so stick to that and don't try to imitate anyone else," Shastri recounted Arun as saying to Shami.
Harsha Bhogle had once said about the pacer, "the seam loves Shami" and it seems as though Shami is making the most of his opportunities. The 28-year-old won two man of the match awards in the first three games and was also adjudged the man of the series. He is now a certainty to fly to England as a part of India's World Cup squad.
Talking about the World Cup, Shastri mentioned that a couple of places are still up for grabs. In this regard, he spoke about trying out a few players who are currently not in the squad during the Australia series and give the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma a break.