In an online chat with ESPNCricinfo, Mohammed Shami has claimed that the current Indian pace attack sits right on top of the list of the best of all time, usurping the West Indies quartet of quicks in the 70s or 80s, or the Australian pace bowling units of the 2000s.
“You and everyone else in the world will agree to this, that no team has ever had five fast bowlers together as a package. Not just now, in the history of cricket, this might be the best fast-bowling unit in the world,” the Uttar Pradesh born pacer said.
When asked about whether the Indian pace attack is better than the Windies’ battery of 70s and 80s, Shami, who has 180 wickets from 49 Tests, said that fast bowlers were waiting to take over the scene from the spinners. He said, “We have a bowler on the bench who can work up speeds of 145-48 kph (over 90mph),” said Shami.
The 29-year-old, who has rejuvenated himself to become one of the finest across formats, said that it is Indian skipper Virat Kohli who is central to things but when it comes to fast bowling, Kohli leaves it for the pacers to decide.
“We surround Virat Kohli and ask him to make the decision. But he normally says, ‘Don’t get me involved in all this; you decide among yourselves, I don’t have an issue’. We support each other whether we’re getting wickets or not,” he said.
Shami battled weight issues, injuries and legal quarrels before making a comeback into the Indian team. He went on to take 14 wickets at the ICC World Cup 2019 including a match-winning, memorable hat-trick against Afghanistan. Shami also took 13 wickets during the Test series against South Africa in 2019.