Indian pacer Mohammed Shami took a dig at ‘critics’ and defended fellow fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah who is going through a lean patch in New Zealand.

Mohammed Shami said people are making money by criticising players these days and that it’s difficult to hit top form on return from a long injury layoff.

Shami’s comments came after Bumrah’s wicket-less run in the recently-concluded ODI series. Bumrah has picked up only 1 wicket in ODIs since his return from a back injury but has fared better in the shortest format with 8 wickets in 7 T20Is this year.

However, Bumrah seemingly found his rhythm in whites as the India pacer rattled the New Zealand XI batting line-up on Day 2 of their only practice match at Seddon Park, Hamilton.

Bumrah bowled 11 overs on Saturday and picked up 2 wickets and gave away only 18 runs as India bundled out New Zealand XI for 235 and sealed a handy 1st-inning lead.

“It is easy to criticise somebody from outside but it takes a lot to make a comeback. Nowadays people are making money by criticising players,” Shami said after Saturday’s play in Hamilton.

“What Bumrah has achieved for India, how can you even forget that or for that matter ignore it?

“It is fine that people are talking about him but you cannot get to the results only after three-four matches. You have to take positives from here as it will benefit the players.”

Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami was the star of India’s bowling performance on Saturday as the senior pacer stepped up with 3 wickets in his 10-over spell that went for just 17 runs.

Shami was rested for the last 2 ODIs against New Zealand as he is expected to play a key role in the 2-Test series, starting February 21.

“I don’t have to think about the red-ball or white-ball as you know your skills. We are mature and experienced guys and we have to bowl in good areas whether we will get a wicket or not,” Shami said.

“In every format, experience matters a lot as you don’t panic in pressure situations. When we bring youngsters with experienced guys we are able to mature them faster.”

India went to Stumps on Day 2 of the 3-day practice match with a 87-run lead. After bowling out New Zealand XI for 235, openers Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw who failed in the 1st innings went after the hosts’ bowling attack.

Prithvi Shaw remained unbeaten on 35 from 25 balls while Mayank Agarwal got to Stumps with a 23-ball 17.

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