Islamabad: India pacer Mohammed Shami believes that former Pakistani Skipper Wasim Akram and his country mate Zaheer Khan played massive role in shaping his bowling career. Shami had a stint with Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and as a result, he got the chance to learn from Wasim Akram as the Swing of Sultan used to be the bowling coach of KKR. "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," he said an Instagram Live session as quoted by newkerala.com.
"Wasim 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.
The Indian pacer also had a chance to learn from Zaheer as the duo enjoyed a stint together at IPL franchise Delhi Capitals. "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. "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," he said.
Shami also revealed that growing up he used to look up to Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. "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," Shami said.