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‘Virat has no air about himself, jokes with us as if he’s a childhood friend:’ Mohammed Shami hails Kohli the captain – Hindustan Times

Under Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team has managed to assemble its best fast-bowling line-up of all-time. In Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, India boast arguably the best three-pronged pace attack in the world, and coupled with the availability of Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s fast bowling stocks appear more healthy and livelier than ever.

It is due to this fast-bowling line-up that India have managed to win back-to-back Test series in Australia, while securing Test matches victories in South Africa and England. One of the key members of this unit, Shami feels one a primary reason behind the blossoming of India’s pace unit is due to the confidence and faith show in it by captain Kohli. In an interview with Harsha Bhogle, Shami weighed on what it’s like to play under Kohli, highlighting the immense support and freedom he offers his fast bowlers.

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“It is also indeed a phase which you can maybe attribute to the luck of this Indian team or hard work. But Virat has always been supportive of his fast bowlers while also giving us freedom on the ground. He only jumps in when our plans fail, otherwise we’re free as a bowling unit to do as we please. He has always been very supportive,” Shami told Cricbuzz.

Shami underlined another trait of Kohli, explaining how the India skipper never feels or shows that he’s above or beyond anyone in the team. While there are occasions when tempers may prevail, most of the time, the atmosphere in the team within the players is pleasant and jovial, which in turn, brings the best out of the pacers, Shami mentions.

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“As far as our fast-bowling unit or I am concerned as an individual, he has never put any undue pressure on any of us. Usually, there’s a doubt in a bowler’s mind before he approaches his captain. That has never been the case with Virat. He has not air about himself. He jokes around with us, behaves as if he’s our childhood friend,” Shami added.

“This leads to a lot of fun on the ground too. Sometimes there’s fun banter, sometimes we also end up saying aggressive things to each other but we never mind it because it happens in the heat of the moment.”

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