Napier (New Zealand), Jan 23 (ANI):
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has had an injury-ridden bowling journey in the past but his performance since 2018, especially in Test cricket, has made him the leading bowler of the Indian pace attack.
The 28-year-old, who scalped three wickets in the opening match of the five-match series against Kiwis on Wednesday, claimed that his confidence level is high and that he is "back on track".
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Shami said: "This has been a really long journey for me, especially after the 2015 World Cup when I got injured. It took me 12 years to recover as it was a major injury. I went for rehabilitation after that and made a direct comeback into the team during the 2016 T20 World Cup."
"Slowly, I came back on track. Since 2018, I am playing Test cricket regularly. I get confidence from my team members and staff. My confidence level is so high that I have picked up my initial bowling pace and my performance has improved, as well. I am glad that I am seeing this phase again and would be happy if I continue with the same sense of rhythm," Shami added.
The right-arm bowler credited the team members, especially fellow bowlers, for playing a crucial role in his comeback.
"I like Test cricket more. The way we have played last few Test series, it boosts your confidence. We performed well as a bowling unit. I have good bowling group and we share pressure whenever the situation is demanding. It really helps. Teamwork has played a crucial role in my comeback. I hope that in coming future it will remain same," Shami said.
When asked about prospects of his selection in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Shami said that he has not thought of it yet as he believes in moving ahead series by series. He added that the players would be selected keeping in mind their performance and fitness during that particular time.
"I don't think too far. I take it series by series. It (selection) depends on how your performance and fitness is during that time," he said.
In Napier, where India played their first ODI against New Zealand, Shami became the fastest Indian to scalp 100 wickets in the one-day format. New Zealand opener Martin Guptill became his 100th wicket in the ODIs.
Off to a positive start in the series, India will play their next match against New Zealand on January 26 at Mount Maunganui. (ANI)