Kolkata: Indian team and Kings XI Punjab’s leading fast bowler Mohammed Shami said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the perfect tournament for preparations before the nearly two-and-a-half-month tour of Australia.
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After the IPL ends on November 10, the players of the Indian team will leave for Australia from there itself. The tour of Australia is expected to begin with the T20 International series, after which the Test and then the ODI series will be played.
The Kings XI Punjab player said in a special interview with PTI-language, ‘It is good that the players going to Australia tour are playing IPL. With this, our body and sports will be in rhythm before the tour starts.
Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, India tasted a historic victory in Australia for the first time in 2018-19. The hosts, however, were playing without Steve Smith and David Warner, who were facing bans due to ball tampering. This time both selections will be available, which is likely to make the series more exciting. Shami said that everyone’s attention is on that tour.
He said, ‘It is better that we are playing IPL before a big series. Apart from the IPL, everyone’s attention is on that tour (Australia). There is a lot of talk about that series. There will be good competition between us.
The IPL will be held in 3 cities of the United Arab Emirates due to the increasing case of Kovid-19 epidemic in India. Shami said that from the players’ point of view it will be less tiring as less traveling will have to be done.
He said, ‘Yes, continuous matches and practice can cause some problems, but it is a small format, so there will not be much physical workload. You won’t have to travel too much this time. When the match is in Abu Dhabi, you will have to travel for about 2 hours by bus. Shami’s responsibility will increase due to R Ashwin, who was the lead bowler of the team last season, and he is ready for this challenge.
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The bowler, who has played 49 Tests, 77 ODIs and 11 T20Is for India, said, ‘I always try to play my role and give my 100 per cent. I will bowl according to the situation. Obviously, as the leading bowler of the team, my responsibility will be to bring great relief to the team by taking important wickets.
Kings XI Punjab has appointed former veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble as Director of Cricket Operations and Shami said that he has good relations with the former coach of the Indian team. He said, ‘I have a very good relationship with him. It is very important to have a good relationship, coordination with the coach. You can explain things clearly and it is all about good understanding. ‘
Shami was practicing in his farm house during lockdown in India. The team played a practice match on Thursday and Shami believes that everyone is achieving the rhythm. He said, ‘It has been a long time for us to play cricket. Everyone’s happiness was the same as the children in a chocolate shop. We had a practice match on Thursday, I did not face any trouble. Everyone is returning to the rhythm. I did not feel much difference (because I was bowling at my farmhouse).
During this, Shami became emotional when it came to daughter Aira. His daughter lives with his mother and Shami’s ex-wife Hasin Jahan. He said, ‘I could not meet him in lockdown. She is growing up fast. I miss him.