Can get reverse swing without saliva if shine of ball is maintained, says Mohammed Shami

Indian pace spearhead Mohammed Shami on Tuesday (June 2) said he can get reverse swing with our without saliva if the shine of the ball is maintained properly.

Notably, the ICC is planning to come up with a new rule banning the use of saliva to shine the ball when the sport is resumed after the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown as saliva is believed to increase the risk of transmission of the viral disease.

“There will be difficulties. We have been accustomed to using saliva since childhood. It’s been deeply ingrained … If you are a fast bowler, instinctively you apply saliva to shine the ball. But yes, if you can maintain the shine of the dry ball, it will definitely reverse,” Shami said in an Instagram chat with Rohit Juglan.

The ICC Cricket Committee headed by Anil Kumble, however, has said bowlers will be allowed to use sweat to polish the ball but Shami claimed that the use of sweat will not help a fast bowler.

“Sweat and saliva work differently. I don’t think it will help. I never tried bowling without saliva. Now because of COVID-19 pandemic, it’s very important to stop using saliva,” said Shami.

Talking about former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shami said the players missed his presence on and off the field. “I played in all the formats under him barring IPL. With regard to guidance, he will always treat his teammates in such a way that you won’t even feel that he is M S Dhoni. He is such a big player. I have a lot of memories about him. Now also we think, Mahi Bhai will come and it will be fun playing,” he said.

“One thing I like is he (Dhoni) likes to sit with everyone and have dinner. There are always two-four people with him. We chat till late night, and these are the things that one miss,” he added.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a question mark over the fate of ICC T20 World Cup in Australia and Shami said that the players would want to play some matches before going for the prestigious tournament.

“We are not machines, can’t just switch on and off. As a sportsman, your body needs to get into rhythm. No one has touched bat and ball in this period. So a 10-15 days camp or a couple of series before the World Cup will be helpful to get back the momentum,” he said.