The ability to absorb pressure by both Shami and Kohli is up there at the top, says Paras Mhambrey

April 10, 2024
Paras Mhambrey, the current India men’s bowling coach, said though Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami

Mumbai, April 10 (IANS) Paras Mhambrey, the current India men’s bowling coach, said though Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami are totally different in both body language and mental approach, the common thread connecting the talismanic cricketers is their top-notch ability to absorb pressure and put their best foot forward to make the side win from any situation.

Kohli and Shami had been the leading run-getter and wicket-taker respectively in India’s runners-up finish at the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup on home soil. “Both of them are completely different in terms of body language and mental approach. Apart from the mental built, Virat is very aggressive on the face all the time. But if you see Shami, he’s completely in contrast – you will see a lot more bowlers being pumped out in celebrating after taking a wicket.”

“But Shami will do the usual hello and that kind of stuff. In terms of mental strength, both are up there. In appearance, Shami would look like a laidback character, but understands his game extremely well in-and-out. He knows what’s expected out of him, and for the team. In terms of training, he would do something different, but anything which suits him and he knows what works best for his body, which he is aware of inside-out and is so important for an individual to succeed in life.”

“The ability to absorb pressure by both Shami and Kohli is up there at the top. Virat is one of the best in chasing, which was something considered as a very difficult task in limited-overs cricket. But now you see, he’s the prime reason why India has chased mammoth scores. Same is with Shami in the way he’s won games for India. Both are different, but they understand their roles and themselves very well, and how to use their skill in a very different way,” said Mhambrey at the launch of the book “Goats Must Be Crazy” at IISM, Mumbai.

He went on to explain how Kohli’s work ethics have rubbed on the young cricketers in Indian team. ‘’To be able to see the work put in by Virat day in and day out is an eye opener. You see youngsters talking to him and trying to learn from him. It gives everyone a fantastic insight into how he prepares.”

“I see a lot of younger people in the team taking out those minutes to have that conversation with him because those words of wisdom are fantastic. Unless you are not crazy or obsessed in any profession that you are, you can never be one of the greatest and that’s common with all sportspersons.”

Speaking about the progression of young fast-bowlers like Umran Malik and Mayank Yadav, Mhambrey felt refining the skills and having that skillset to succeed as a fast-bowlers holds huge importance. “You are born with certain skills and you have to have that skill to play. The skill that Shami has cannot be replicated unless you have it. For Bumrah, he has certain skill and these are the guys who are born with that skill.”

“You become a GOAT (greatest of all time) with the attitude you have, the work that you put in, the vision you have about yourself and the inspiration you want to be. In combination with other factors, it will make you a GOAT. But the pure skill you have, just build on it. I may be wrong, but anyone can’t say that I made Shami or Bumrah.”

“Yes, you can refine the skill and help them in refining what they already have, but you need to possess that something different and these guys are different than the others and that makes them look good. How they work and prepare just rubs on to the others. I see a lot of younger guys opening up and sharing their thoughts and experiences while being in the team.”

Asked about the fast-bowlers he admired in his growing up years, Mhambrey was quick to take names of legendary fast-bowlers Kapil Dev and Sir Richard Hadlee. “For me, when I was growing up, obviously it was Kapil paaji (Kapil Dev, as an idol) – one of the finest fast-bowlers and match-winners this country has ever seen, purely for the fact that in those days, TV coverage of matches was less.”

“So we would go to neighbours house and try to sneak and find those moments of magic. So, at that time, Kapil paaji was big inspiration purely for the career he had – no injuries and playing so much of Test cricket. There were other reasons why he was dropped, but him playing 100+ Test matches was phenomenal for me and another inspiration for me was Sir Richard Hadlee.”



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