Mohammed Shami has spoken highly of Virat Kohli, adding that the current Indian skipper has always been supportive of his fast bowlers. Shami, a vital part of India's bowling unit that is arguably best in world cricket at present, also highlighted 'freedom' which Kohli offers his pacers.
Shami made a return to the Test fold on Tuesday after the BCCI picked a 20-member strong squad for the six matches to be played in England over the course of their summer. Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hanuma Vihari made a comeback to the national side after injuries as India prepares to play the prestigious WTC final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against England.
"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, 30, also opened about another trait of Kohli. While the Indian captain is quite animated on the field, Shami said the Kohli jokes around with his teammates like a 'childhood friend'.
"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."
The Indian team will reportedly leave the country on June 2 for the marathon tour and the BCCI is still carrying out negotiations regarding the duration of 10 days of soft quarantine.
"Indian team will have eight days of hard quarantine (confined to hotel rooms) in India with mandatory negative RT-PCR reports on second, fourth and seventh day required to board the flight," a senior BCCI official told PTI.