Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar revealed that Mohammed Shami called him after India was ousted from the World Cup. Akhtar said Shami had taken tips from him about fast-bowling and how he could improve in the home season. He revealed that he had advised Shami, who played a major role in India's big win over South Africa in the first Test and become a tearaway pacer while also using the reverse swing as a lethal weapon.
"After India's (50-over) World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up one day and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India. I told him not to lose heart but maintain fitness. The home series is coming and you will do well I said," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
Shami has seam and swing
"I told Shami that I want him to become a tearaway pacer, running through batting line-ups. He has seam and swing, besides that he has a reverse swing which very few bowlers in the subcontinent have. I told him you can become king of reverse swing," he further added.
The Pakistan legend also hailed Virat Kohli for being a bowler's captain and said that he handles the fast-bowlers, brilliantly. He also added that Shami should be grateful that he has the backing of his skipper.
"Virat Kohli is a bowler's captain. Kohli is not doing captaincy when he is with the bowlers, he is enjoying the bowlers rattling the opposition. It is a good thing that Indian bowlers have such a good captain," he said.
Shami had a terrific match in Visakhapatnam where he ran through South Africa's batting order in the second innings and picked up a 5-wicket haul. This impressed Akhtar who believes that the fast-bowler can be a superb prospect.
"Now, you see what he has done, he has got wickets from a docile pitch (in Visakhaptnam). I am very happy for him," said the 44-year-old.
After a commanding win over South Africa in the first Test, the action now shifts to Pune and India would look to continue their dominant run over the visitors who have plenty to ponder, right from the balance of the side, to the way they deal with the relentless bowling attack of the hosts.