‘India’s fast-bowling unit might be the best in the history of cricket’
India’s right-arm pacer Mohammed Shami has called India’s pace bowling department the best in the 150-year history of cricket. According to him, the depth of power in pace bowling like the current team like India has never been seen before.
When it comes to fast bowling as a team, the name of the West Indies pace quartet comes to mind first. The quartet, composed in the eighties by Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner, is revered by any cricketer or analyst in the world. At the same time there was another legendary fast bowler Malcolm Marshall.
At that time, the Indian pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami is ahead of the pace attack of any team of any time in the world, including that Caribbean Quartet.
In a video interview with ESPNcricinfo, he said,
“You and everyone else in the world will agree to this — that no team has ever had five fast bowlers together as a package. Not just now, in the history of cricket, this might be the best fast-bowling unit in the world.”
As all five are new ball pacers, there was a lot of gossip in the Indian dressing room about starting the attack. Captain Virat Kohli left after his team’s pacers made this decision. Then Shami handed over the new ball to the other two.
Shami commented, “We surround Virat Kohli and ask him to make the decision. But he normally says, ‘Don’t get me involved in all this; you decide among yourselves, I don’t have an issue’. That is the kind of fun we have in our team meetings. I let the other two start. I have no objection to bowling with a semi-new ball.”
Since July 2017, Shami has played in 27 of India’s 30 Tests and has been the hero of many wins. Especially in the second innings of the match, he seemed to take a terrible shape. Shami has already taken 36 wickets in the current Test Championship.
Revealing the secret of success in bowling, he said, “If the batsman is set and we haven’t been able to pick up a lot of wickets, we try to bowl a tight line and length by dropping our pace. As soon as we get a wicket, you increase your pace by about 8kph. This difference in speed is pretty visible. If the bowler was bowling at around 140kph earlier, after picking up a wicket he gets his rhythm back, picks up the pace and the same ball is now delivered at 145kph.
“My mindset while bowling is that if the batsman is playing well, bowl a tight line and length, dry up the runs, and he will surely make a mistake. Once the set batsman is dismissed, I go for the kill as a bowler. That’s why it seems like I bowl in two different ways. The ‘second-innings Shami’ label – that has been created by you guys (the media).”