After a good season in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Indian cricketers have turned their attention to Australia, where they’re going through the gears in training after an initial quarantine period in Sydney.
Looking ahead to what is a long tour, Mohammed Shami believes the pacers in the Indian set-up have done well in recent years because they hunt in pairs, explaining that there is no rivalry but a healthy competition.
“The success of this group is largely because of the camaraderie we share among ourselves. There is no real secret as such but it lies in each other’s strengths. If you look at the numbers, we have managed to pick 20 wickets almost on all our away tours. Even at home in the Freedom Trophy or the pink-ball Test, the fast bowling group was very effective. We have a lot of discussion among ourselves. We hunt in pairs,” Shami was quoted as saying by BCCI.
India will play six limited overs games and four Tests in Australia, and like their previous tour in 2018/19, Shami and co will have their task cut out. What makes the job a tad bit tougher is that David Warner and Steve Smith are both available unlike last time when they were serving out ball-tampering bans.
“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kph-plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia. Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out.”
Not one to meddle around with too many variations as the legendary Kapil Dev would like pacers to do, Shami, who picked 20 wickets in the IPL earlier in the year, says he knew cricket would resume and kept preparing accordingly.
While speaking about preparing in the nets, the speedster insists that getting the basics right before anything else is key.
“My focus area has been the red ball and I am working on my lengths and seam movement. I have always felt that once you start pitching the ball at the lengths you desire, you can succeed in different formats. What you need is control. I have done well with the white-ball and now spending time in the nets bowling with the red ball. You don’t bowl in the same area since both formats are different, but your basics don’t change much.”
For Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and co the first chance to have a crack at the Australian batting is on 27 November in the first of three ODIs. The two teams will play two ODIs in Sydney before going to Canberra for third and the first T20I. The final two T20Is will be played at Sydney as well.
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