Mohammed Shami © Getty Images
Mohammed Shami turns 27 today © Getty Images

Born September 3, 1990, Mohammed Shami is a right-arm pacer and among the fastest bowlers produced by India. He represents Bengal in domestic cricket and has the ability to swing the ball both ways at a menacing speed. On his birthday, Abhishek Kumar digs out 11 lesser-known facts about him.

1. Family of fast bowlers: Shami’s father Tousif Ali used to be a fast bowler during his playing days. He is one of the four brothers from his family and each of them wanted to become a fast bowlerbut Shami turned out to be the only to have made the cut.

2. From UP to Bengal: Shami originally hails from Sahaspur village in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh but he plays for Bengal in domestic cricket and there’s a story behind it. In the year 2005, Shami’s father got to know about his bowling abilities and took him to Moradabad, which is 22 km from their village to train him under a cricket coach named Badruddin Siddique. At that time, Shami was only 15-year old and after knowing about his ability of bowling at good pace, Siddique advised his father to send him to Kolkata, where he started playing for Dalhousie Athletic Club.

3. Reverse swing specialist: At an early age of his career, Shami learnt the skill of reverse swing. To become a specialist, Shami practised hard by taking old red balls from the organisers and shine it on one side. He practised a lot with that ball to get the hone his reverse swinging skills.

4. Confusion over his name: When Shami debuted for India, he was known as Shami Ahmed but later it was noted that his original name is Mohammed Shami. In an interview to a newspaper, Shami revealed this by saying, “I don’t know how my name got that tail. I’m Mohammed Shami, not Shami Ahmed.”

5. Impressive international debut: Shami made his international debut for India in the third One-Day International of the series against Pakistan in January 2013 in Delhi. It was quite tough for him because India were defending a very low total of 167 but Shami bowled excellently by conceding just 23 runs from his spell of nine overs and picked a wicket as well.

6. Fifer on Test debut: Later in the same year, he made his Test debut in November against West Indies. In the first innings, Shami missed his first fifer by one wicket as he took four wickets for 71 runs but came out hard in the second innings. He scalped his maiden fifer on his debut Test with a spell of five for 47. He guided India to a convincing victory with an innings and 51 runs. He became the eighth Indian bowler to take a fifer on his Test debut.

7. Last wicket hero: In the first Test against England at Nottingham in July 2014, Shami and his partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar added 111 runs for the last wicket in the first innings of the match and ensured a good total on board. Shami came at the crease when India were nine down for 346 and from there on Shami stuck to his guns and remained unbeaten. Shami scored 51 runs, which was his maiden fifty in international cricket while Bhuvneshwar made 58. Their partnership of 111 runs was the second biggest by an Indian pair for 10th wicket.

8. World Cup 2015: Shami was India’s second best bowler in World Cup 2015 by taking 17-wickets in seven matches at 17.29. It was Shami, who probably lit up the fire in the Indian bowling department by registering his best bowling figures against arch-rivals Pakistan in the first match. He scalped four wickets for 35 runs and India won the game easily by 76 runs.

9. Injuries: Being a fast bowler, one is bound to be rpone to injuries and Shami is no different. His first injury in international cricket came just before the Sri Lanka series in November 2014, which took place in his knee. Later, he bowled well in the 2015 World Cup. After the tournament, Shami revealed that he bowled through pain in his left knee due to which he had to undergo a surgery, which kept him out of action for a year. He made his comeback in 2016 during the West Indies tour and once again did well for the team.

10. IPL: Shami first played for Kolkata Knight Riders Indian Premier League in 2011 season, though he played only few matches but was retained for next two years. Later in 2014, he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for a whopping price of INR 4.25 crore and since then he has been the part of that team.

11. Marriage: Shami got married to his model girl friend Hasin Jahan on June 6, 2014. The couple were blessed with a daughter in July 2015, which they named Aaira Shami.