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WTC final: “Behind this rise to the No.1 rank, pacers have had a role to play”- Mohammed Shami

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With numerous fast bowlers bursting onto the scene for Team India, Mohammed Shami believes the pacers have played a significant role in making the country the number one ranked Test team in the world.

India will have a chance to rubber-stamp their position as the best Test team on the planet if they beat New Zealand next month in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

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In an interview with The Telegraph, Mohammed Shami opined that the rise of fast bowlers is one reason why India have emerged as a dominant side in the longest format of the game.

“The fact that our team has been so consistent in the longest format over the last four-five years is also due to the contribution of us fast bowlers. So behind this rise to the No.1 rank, kahin na kahin toh pacers ka bhi ek role hai (somewhere or the other, pacers have had a role to play),” said Mohammed Shami.

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Shami was also asked about having any special plans for New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. The 30-year-old brushed aside such claims and said they haven’t been concentrating too much on one individual.

“We’re playing against another team, not against any one individual. As it has always been, our aim will always be to the target the opposition by hitting the right length, backing each other and our strengths as well as maintaining the intensity right through so that the proceedings become tougher for all their players, not just Williamson,” the seamer added.

“Will certainly try and get whatever amount of reverse swing I can” – Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami is one of India’s best exponents of the reverse swing. However, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the ICC has banned the application of saliva on cricket balls.

The fast bowler acknowledged that the ban has affected his reverse swing bowling but added that he would try to get as much reverse swing as he can in the mega event against the Blackcaps next month.

“Ever since application of saliva has been banned, one found it tough to get the ball to reverse. But of course, since that has been one of my strengths, I’ll certainly try and get whatever amount of reverse swing I can as it’s essential to have all your options at your disposal in a game of such magnitude,” Shami said.

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Shami is currently 20 wickets away from reaching the 200 wicket mark in Test cricket. Once he reaches the landmark, he will become only the fifth Indian pacer to achieve the feat.


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