India pacer Mohammed Shami on Tuesday (April 21) revealed how former Pakistani great Wasim Akram and India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan shaped his bowling career. In an Instagram Live Session with batsman Manoj Tiwary, Shami also admitted that growing up he used to look up to Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer, and Akram.
Shami added that he used to learn from Zaheer when to comes to bowling and was also a fan of Pakistani bowler Akram. Notably, both Zaheer and Akram were left-arm bowlers while Shami is a right-hand bowler. "When it comes to bowling, I used to look at Zaheer Khan. When India and Pakistan faced off against each other, I also used to like Wasim Akram. Both Zaheer and Akram were left-arm bowlers," Shami said.
"When we were growing up, we used to witness that India and Pakistan used to be the most intense matches. Sachin Tendulkar is a great of the game and I looked up at him when I was growing up. The best pair was of Virender Sehwag and Sachin. When it comes to batting, I used to look up to Sehwag and Sachin," he added.
It may be recalled that Shami was once a part of Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders and his stint with KKR allowed him to learn the nuances of bowling from Akram as the former Pakistan captain was once the bowling coach of KKR.
Shami later got a chance to work closely with Zaheer when he was picked up by IPL franchise Delhi Capitals."When I came to KKR, I realised the skill and value associated with cricket. I watched Wasim Akram all my life on television, but with KKR, I had the chance to learn from him. For the initial days, I was not even able to talk to him."asim Bhai came up to me then, and he initiated the conversation with me and he started telling me things about bowling. He read me very fast, he realised what I am all about, I learnt a lot from him. If you have someone experienced close to you, then you should not shy away and try to learn maximum things as well," Shami said.
"Zaheer Bhai and I did not play much together, but whenever I got the chance to talk to him, he was very helpful. I spent time with him during IPL stint with Delhi Capitals, Zaheer Bhai is very experienced, I just wanted to learn how to go about bowling with the new ball," he added.