India fast bowler Mohammed Shami has claimed they may have the best pace attack in Test history, brushing aside the feared West Indies quicks of the 1970s and 1980s.
Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have become leaders of the Indian attack, which has traditionally relied on spinners.
“You and everyone else in the world will agree to this — that no team has ever had five fast bowlers together as a package,” Shami said in an online chat for ESPNcricinfo.
“Not just now, in the history of cricket, this might be the best fast-bowling unit in the world,” he added.
When reminded of the West Indies pace packs of the 1970s and 1980s, Shami said India still has fast bowlers waiting on the sidelines to take over.
“We have a bowler on the bench who can work up speeds of 145-48 kph (over 90mph),” said Shami, who has 180 wickets from 49 Tests.
The 29-year-old, who has come back a more potent bowler from a career-threatening knee injury, said there was no rivalry for the new ball between the Indian bowlers.
“We surround Virat Kohli and ask him to make the decision,” Shami said of the support for the Indian captain.
“But he normally says, ‘Don’t get me involved in all this; you decide among yourselves, I don’t have an issue’.
Shami said he is normally happy to let two other bowlers start with the new ball.
“We support each other whether we’re getting wickets or not,” he said.
Shami battled weight issues, injury and a legal quarrel with his estranged wife before making a comeback in the Indian team that reached the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.
He took 14 wickets in four games at the World Cup, including a match-winning hat-trick.
Shami also took 13 wickets during India’s 3-0 home Test sweep over South Africa last year.