‘My impressive run in IPL took pressure off me for Australia tour’

Sydney, Nov 22 (Bureau) Indian pacer Mohammed Shami believes that he is in the ‘right zone’ after his impressive performance in the IPL 2020 and it will help him prepare for the upcoming Test series against Australia without any pressure. Shami took 20 wickets and had an impressive run in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab, including a superb defence of five runs in double Super Over game against Mumbai Indians. ‘My performances for KXIP in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone,’ An artist with the red ball, Shami feels that a good IPL has taken off the burden from him. ‘My performances for KXIP in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me,’ Shami told BCCI.TV on Saturday. ‘I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,’ he added. The veteran pacer said that Test matches are a priority for him on this tour as he is training hard over last one week in quarantine in Sydney. ‘We are going to have a long tour starting with the white ball followed by pink and red ball Tests. 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,’ he said.

‘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,’ he added. Since 2018, the Indian fast bowlers have the most number of wickets in test cricket. The Indian quicks have 292 wickets in 24 matches at an average of 21.33. In the same period, they recorded 15 five-wicket hauls, the most by any country. Among the pacers with most wickets in away Test matches in the last two years, the trio of Jasprit Bumrah (68), Mohammed Shami (61) and Ishant Sharma (53) top the list followed by Pat Cummins (51) and Mohammed Abbas (48). Shami said that the diverse skill among the bowling group, makes Indian attack a potent one.’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,’ the pacer said. ‘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,’ he added.