Mohammed Shami had no second thoughts in his mind about bowling a yorker for the hat-trick ball after MS Dhoni advised the same during India’s thrilling win over Afghanistan in Manchester on Sunday.
Shami is the second Indian bowler to claim a hat-trick in World Cup after Chetan Sharma’s record feat against New Zealand in 1987.
“The plan was simple. To bowl a yorker and even Mahi bhai suggested that. He said, “Don’t change anything now as you have a great chance of getting a hat-trick. It’s a rare opportunity and you need to do the same thing. So I did what exactly I was told,” Shami told reporters after the match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hamstring injury brought Shami into the scene and the 29-year-old pacer believes that it was a stroke of luck that he was in the playing XI.
“Getting a chance in the playing XI is a bit of luck. I was ready that whenever I get a chance, I will have to utilise it. As far as hat-trick is concerned, it is a rarity at least in the World Cup. I am happy,” he said.
Shami said in the final over, there was no time to think and his aim was just to execute the plan.
“There was no time to think. You have to back your own skills as you don’t have much option otherwise. If you try more variations, chances of going for runs is more. My thought was to execute my plan rather than trying to read batsman’s mind,” he said.
Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammed Nabi had threatened to take the game away from Team India with a half-century and Shami said it was important that they don’t let the shoulders drop.
“There was a point when Nabi’s flow was irritating but it’s better if you don’t show your concern or irritation which the batsman would have gauged.”
“We shouldn’t show our weakness. From the exterior, we should always show aggression. We knew that if Nabi was out, then match belongs us. He was the only batsman who could have built their innings,” he added.
Having won 4 out of their 5 matches, India, who are placed at the third position on the points table, are well placed to reach the semi-finals. The 2011 World Champions next face West Indies on Thursday.