New Delhi: Mohammed Shami has emerged a key cog for Team India in the longest format of the game, Test cricket. Despite facing multiple fitness issues and months out due to a struggling knee injury, the Bengal pacer has once again established himself as a starter in Virat Kohli’s squad.
His ability to clock speeds up to 140 kmph plus and producing the odd bounce saw him scalp 15 wickets in three Test matches during India’s recently-concluded tour of South Africa. The speedster lauded the team for challenging the Proteas and bouncing back after two successive defeats in Test series.
"We are a good side and we always carry that confidence on the field irrespective of where we are playing whether at home or abroad. We always make small targets and focus on every match individually rather than focussing on the outcome of the series.
"We lost the Test matches by a very close margin, there is always a difference when we play at home or when we play abroad. It takes time for players to adjust to the bounce and length in foreign conditions. Despite losing the first Two Tests, we never lost that belief in ourselves that we can make a comeback and we showed just that," the 29-year-old was quoted as saying to India TV.
The UP-born pacer also heaped praise on India skipper Virat Kohli for backing the bowling unit.
"It doesn't matter whether we win or lose, we always stay together as a unit and never lose that trust in the players. The captain and coach have that belief in the team that we are a good unit and have that in us to perform at the biggest stage. Our fast bowling unit have bowlers who can regularly clock over 140 plus.
"We are a top class bowling unit and our captain and coach have that belief in us to pick up 20 wickets in the match. Kohli always pinpoints the mistakes we make as players on the field during the match and gives us his constructive feedback about the same. He backs us to the hilt despite worrying about the on-field results. We believe in giving our 150 percent on the field," Shami added.
Shami was also optimistic about India’s chances of performing well during the upcoming tour of England in July.
"We are going to focus on the basics once again. After IPL, we are planning to go a little early on the tour to get used to the conditions and bounce in England. Last time we lost the series in England as we didn't have enough experience in the side and lacked exposure to perform in such conditions. Now we are better prepared as a team and have that in us to change our record this time in England as we did in South Africa," he concluded.