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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Shami told Mohsin that he is better than him, says coach

On Sunday, the Lucknow Super Giants bowler returned figures of 4/16 against Delhi Capitals, which enabled his team to clinch a high-scoring game.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai |
Updated: May 3, 2022 4:15:50 pm
Lucknow Super Giants' Mohsin Khan celebrates a wicket. (IPL)

“Sir, mujhe yeh log khila nahi rahe hain, mein pareshan hogaya hoon (they are not including me in the team, I am upset).”

Three years ago, Badruddin Siddiqui got a call from Mohsin Khan, who sounded dejected after not being able to make it into the playing eleven of star-studded Mumbai Indians.

“I told him ‘Don’t be stupid. Just keep talking to Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga. Just chew their brains and you will be a better bowler in coming days’”, Badruddin recalls.

A left-arm medium pacer with a high-arm action and ability to generate bounce from a good length, Mohsin was considered one to watch out for.

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On Sunday, the Lucknow Super Giants bowler returned figures of 4/16 against Delhi Capitals, which enabled his team to clinch a high-scoring game. His four wickets were of David Warner, Rishabh Pant, Rovman Powell and Shardul Thakur.

Bowling was never first choice for Mohsin. His coach recalled how he accompanied his elder brother to the ground in Moradabad one day. His elder brother wanted Mohsin to be a cricketer.

Mohsin initially wanted to be a batsman. However, at the age of 12, he picked up decent height which prompted Badruddin to advise him to pick up fast bowling.

“He was reluctant initially but I said if he wants to play higher-level cricket, he can only do that as a bowler. ‘Batting side by side karte raho (carry on)’, but it took some time. He was never serious. He was casual in his approach. He went on to play under-16 and under-19 cricket for Uttar Pradesh and even took 27 wickets in three games but he had developed a love for tennis-ball cricket by then,” the coach says.

There were days when Mohsin used to skip practice to play tennis-ball cricket with friends. When he injured his shoulder, his coach intervened again.

“I said if he wants to play higher cricket, he has to be serious. He can play these tennis-ball games, but not on a regular basis. Things changed when he was picked by Mumbai Indians,” Badruddin, who is also the coach of senior India fast bowler Mohammed Shami, stated.

Turning the corner

The son of a retired Uttar Pradesh Police sub-inspector, Mohsin soon realised the importance of training and work ethics, though his love for batting continued. Whenever his coaches moved away, Mohsin would bet with teammates on who could hit the longest sixes.

During lockdown, he trained with Shami at the latter’s farmhouse. Badruddin states that the interaction and time spent with Shami changed Mohsin as he learnt reverse swing and the art of delivering the ball on its seam.

“Shami told him that Mohsin is a better bowler than him but just needed more focus. I called him during lockdown and said, jitna Shami ka dimag nichod sakta hai, kar le (Learn whatever you can from Shami)’. Things have changed after that,” he adds.

Shami understood what was running in Mohsin’s mind. He too had crossed that bridge when he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad for two seasons but didn’t get a game. Like Mohsin, Shami too had spoken to Badruddin about how it was tough to sit out.

“I told Mohsin, ‘see how Shami picked all the tricks from Wasim Akram.’ He has to do the same. Such opportunities should not be wasted, it will help him in the future,” the coach narrates.

During an interaction with LSG teammate Deepak Hooda, Mohsin said that his parents wanted him to see him playing an IPL match on TV.

“I waited three years for an opportunity. My parents used to say that it was their dream to watch me play in an IPL match. Now that I’m playing, my parents are the happiest. I’m very happy as well, I’m fulfilling their dream. I dedicate my performance to them,” Mohsin added.

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