How Mohammed Shami’s baby daughter helped him stage a Test comeback

Indian speedster Mohammed Shami returned to the Test arena after almost 18 months as injuries didn t let him achieve fruitful dividends. But Shami stuck to his guns and made an emphatic comeback with the red ball in the first Test against West Indies at Antigua where he scalped four wickets in the first innings. Shami credits all his success on the comeback to his daughter Aaira. Also Read: India force West Indies to follow-on after Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav strike: Twitter reactions

Shami charged in and bowled with unmatched confidence as he chipped the wickets of Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Jermaine Blackwood. He looked good and seemed to have added an extra yard to his existing pace. The wicket was slow but Indian pacers did well to chip wickets. India dismantled West Indies for 243 and forced follow-on with a trail of 323 runs. West Indies at stumps on Day 3 were placed at 21 for 1. Also Read: Hilarious: Virender Sehwag motivates Mohammed Shami in crafty way; names him after a dish

Shami was quoted in a report from BCCI.TV saying, We had batted on this wicket and knew that it was a slow wicket. The plan was to bowl at a consistent spot for long periods of time and that is why we were successful. On slow wickets, the batsmen don t expect the short ball. So, that was our plan to bowl the short delivery as it would fetch us wickets.

On his break from cricket, Shami said, “It has almost been 18 months since I last played a Test. I got injured in Australia and underwent a surgery. My wife helped me a lot through the period as I was bed-ridden for two months. In the same time, our baby (daughter) was born and that calmed me down as I was upset at getting injured since I was bowling really well. The birth of my baby helped me take the focus away from the game and I could re-energize myself. Also in the same period, I had put on about 15 kgs. I resumed my training and worked really hard in the NCA and then during the preparation camp. I felt that today I could carry on from where I had left. I didn t feel like there was any extra load. Today, I felt I bowled the same manner that I used to.

Shami’s back to form is a great sign for India, who have a hectic Test season coming up.