He may be the best batsman in the world, but even a batsman of the class of Virat Kohli can have, reckons teammate Mohammed Shami. Playing for the Indian team, Shami has bowled to Kohli countless times in the nets, but in a parallel universe, if Shami was to ever bowl to Kohli, ever wonder how the fast bowler will get him out? Also Read - KKR vs RCB Dream11 Team Prediction Dream11 IPL 2020: Captain, Vice-captain, Fantasy Playing Tips, Probable XIs For Today's Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore T20 Match 39 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 7.30 PM IST Wednesday, October 21
“There are a lot of things that come with playing and spending quality time with another player. You not only come to know of his strengths, but also of his weaknesses. As a bowler, you need to keep working on the weak zones. There is no denying the fact that he is the best in the business, but even the best has those little flaws which you can work on. You just need to pick on one factor and focus on that,” Shami told IANS. Also Read - IPL 2020, KKR vs RCB in Abu Dhabi: Predicted Playing XIs, Pitch Report, Toss Timing, Squads, Weather Forecast For Match 39
“Say for example, which has been the area that has troubled a batsman in recent times? You then work on that. I have dismissed him quite a few times (in the IPL) and without getting into much details, I will say you have to just work on the weak zone.” Also Read - India vs England: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly Confirms The Venue of Pink-Ball Test
Though when it comes to being a captain’s bowler, Shami explains how Kohli has been a tremendous pillar of support. Since the fast bowler’s resurgence which has seen Shami maintain his once injury-prone body so well, he has become Kohli’s go-to man – at times getting the preference over Jasprit Bumrah – in terms of picking up wickets. Shami emerged as the leading wicket-taker of 2019 with 42 wickets from 21 matches and Kohli’s relentless support went a long way in making it happen.
“Do I need to say this? I think the results bear testimony to the fact that Virat backs us to the core. He has always given us that freedom to do what we feel confident about. Also, it is very important at the international level to have a captain who knows your strengths and weaknesses and also backs you. This in turn helps you raise your game,” Shami explained.
“Also, Virat has a lot of trust in our abilities and he gets the result because as a bowler, all you need is for the captain to back you and believe in you and your vision.”
On the dynamics of his bowling, Shami says he gives preference to swinging the ball and holding a perfect seam more than generating pace. That Shami has become a formidable bowling component for the Indian team could be gauged by the fact that he can do all those things with precision.
“I try to ensure that my pace doesn’t fall below the 140kph mark. But my focus is on the seam and swing. I have always tried to make sure that these two things remain perfect. I can bring pace with my physical strength and you can always work on it by doing strength training. But I have always given priority to swing and seam and never for a minute let them take a backseat,” he said.
“As you keep playing, you learn a lot of things. It is all about following one process after the other. So, when you have learnt one trick and mastered it, you then move to the next one and work on that. In the beginning, I didn’t have much idea about reverse swing.
“But slowly I came to understand what the process of reverse swing is all about and how it can be an integral part of a pace bowler’s armoury. Then I started working on it because you are not born with it. It wasn’t like God sent me with the art. I had to work hard and to be honest, you have to work hard for everything that you wish to achieve in life.”