Fast bowler Mohammed Shami has credited the positive environment created under Virat Kohli's captaincy for the success that the team has enjoyed in recent times. Kohli's commandos have acquired the status of modern-day 'invincibles' with their authoritative brand of cricket against all the top teams in the world. And Shami said that this is due to the camaraderie that the players share in this team.
"The camaraderie between the members of this team is exceptional and it is actually the reason behind our good performances. It has happened for the first time that all the players enjoy each others success. It is also because of the environment created under Virat Kohli's captaincy," Shami told India TV on the sidelines of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.
After winning the series in West Indies and Sri Lanka, the Men in Blue blanked the world champions Australia 4-1 in the five-match ODI rubber and hold a 1-0 advantage in the ongoing three-match T20I series.
Courtesy their impressive show across all formats, India now hold the number one spot in Test and ODI rankings. Kohli's men are desperately eyeing to claim the top spot in the shortest format as well where they're placed at the fifth spot in the T20I rankings.
Shami believes the players share a great repertoire on a personal level which translates into their on-field performance.
On being asked about whether the Indian cricket team will be able to continue their good show in the overseas conditions, Shami gave a confident reply. "We are confident of performing well overseas because we don't want to lose the taste of success."
"We are ready for the challenges and will always give tit for tat reply to the opposition. We don't shy away from giving it back to our rivals. If our opposition sledges us, we also sledge them back. We don't have the fear factor in our team," he added.
Shami also said that this team doesn't get intimidated by the opposition and is always ready to give it back.
"We are ready for the challenges and will always give tit for tat reply to the opposition. We don't shy away from giving it back to our rivals. If our opposition sledges us, we also sledge them back. We don't have the fear factor in our team," he said.
The UP-born fast bowler also stressed on the importance of fitness in international cricket and believes the current Indian team has genuine quicks who are at par with the world's best and can trouble the best of the batsmen with their skill and strengths.
"Team India is a completely changed unit now. There's a lot of difference between this team and the earlier teams. Earlier, we didn't have genuine fast bowlers in the team and also someone who bowl reverse. Our bowlers were also not very good at batting and fielding. But this unit is a complete package. We have bowlers who can bowl at 140 kmph, our fielding standards have gone up and another big plus point is that our last five can bat well," he said.
"This has all happened because of the constant monitoring of the players' fitness levels. We have set patterns for training and strengthening exercises. Focus on fitness and training has improved now as compared to the previous teams. Facilities have also improved a lot. We have got all the equipment at the NCA for rehab purposes," he added.
Speaking on the role of captain in supporting a player, Shami said: "Captain plays a very important role in a player's career. The captain's belief boosts the confidence of the player."
The right-arm pacer also spoke about the new 'Yo-Yo' fitness test. The present Indian team regularly undergoes a series of fitness tests with ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test being the most important of them. It is an advanced version of the ‘beep’ test that was used by teams of earlier generations. The current Indian team is considered to be the fittest by a fair distance.
Speaking about it, Shami said: "Yo-Yo test is a challenge for any player but at the end, it is for their own benefit. It's a very good test and we really enjoy doing it."
Meanwhile, India's first-choice wicket-keeper in Test matches - Wriddhiman Saha also spoke about the Indian team's winning mindset and their positive attitude which have helped them break new grounds in international cricket.
"Our aim is to win every match we play. I like to play positive cricket and always try to go with my natural flow. Ravi Shastri is a positive influence... he always tells us to back our natural game in every situation," Saha told India TV.
"I have been a regular part of the team since the time Virat Kohli took over as Test captain and we have played together a lot. Just like Ravi Bhai, Virat also stays positive and is always ready to back his players," he added.
(With inputs from India TV Sports Correspondent Vaibhav Bhola)