India pacer Mohammed Shami says it is important for him to make most use of the last IPL game and upcoming practice sessions to be fully ready for next month's ICC Champions Trophy in United Kingdom.
Shami has played seven IPL games for Delhi Daredevils since returning from injury, conceding runs at close to 10 runs per over and taking five wickets.
Against Rising Pune Supergiant last night, Shami had a decent outing and also effected a match winning run out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Definitely, the more you play after coming from an injury, the better it is for your rhythm. You get confidence out of that. So I am looking to make the most of upcoming game and practice sessions to lift my confidence as high as I can,” said Shami.
Talking about his direct hit which was too accurate for even someone like Dhoni, Shami said: “Yes, it was a game changer. I just went for it knowing Mahi bhai is quick between the wickets and it just clicked.”
The Daredevils, already out of play-off race, defeated Supergiant by seven runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Asked to reflect on the team's disappointing IPL campaign this season, he added: “Our start was bad. We lost too many games initially. We got better in the middle stages and now there is simply nothing to lose.”
Daredevils play Royal Challengers Bangalore in a dead rubber here on Sunday.
While Shami was happy with the result, it was a disappointing for Supergiant's Manoj Tiwary to not take the team home despite a fighting 60 off 45 balls.
Needing 52 off the last 30 balls with seven wickets in hand, the visitors were expected to reach home comfortably.
“I take full responsibility for the defeat. I should have taken the team home since I was the set batsman,” said Tiwary, who was dropped twice.
“It was not easy to bat in the second innings. The ball was gripping a bit, especially when the spinners were bowling,” he said.
He also lashed out at critics of Dhoni, who think the former Indian captain is past his prime.
“He is still the best we have. So I don't understand where this criticism comes from. Even in the game today, you saw he took a one handed catch. We should look at the future but not at the cost of present. I feel he still has a lot of cricket left in him,” added Tiwary.