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Mohammed Shami feels West Indies cannot be taken lightly in the upcoming Test series

The right-arm seamer also believes pitches in the Caribbean are similar to those in India.

Mohammed Shami
Shami made his Test debut against the West Indies in 2013

As many as 47 rating points separate India and West Indies in the ICC cricket Test rankings. However, Indian pacer Mohammed Shami feels that the massive margin will not count for much when they travel to the Caribbean for a 4-match series.

Speaking to bcci.tv, the 25-year-old also likened West Indies conditions to those in the subcontinent. He sounded excited to join the Test side after a lengthy lay-off which arose due to a knee injury.

Shami said, “West Indies is the kind of team that can give you a run for your money on a given day and so you have to be very focused and aware. We have to focus on line and length. I will try to give in my best and as a unit the effort would be to bowl tight spells and get wickets.”

Since Mohammed Shami’s previous Test match in Sydney during January 2015, India have gone on to win a series in Sri Lanka after 22 years and demolished South Africa by 3-0 at home which proved their affinity to spin-friendly pitches.

The Bengal seamer believed that the upcoming West Indies tour will also involve similar surfaces. Once boasting of some of the quickest pitches in the world, Caribbean conditions had changed over the years by assisting spin.

The right-armer affirmed, “I have played there earlier and I haven’t found them (the pitches) to be that different. They are almost similar to India. Yes, in the earlier times we would hear that the wicket is bouncy and all that. But, now the wickets are similar to those in Asia.”

He added, “So, there is no need to be excited as a fast bowler that you will get bounce and carry. According to me, it is important to focus on line and length. I have an idea of the conditions and one will have to be prepared.”

The promising fast bowler revealed that he had been playing plenty of club matches to regain his rhythm for a hectic international season of 13 Tests. One of those was in the inaugural pink-ball match at the Eden Gardens in which he took seven wickets.

One of the biggest takeaways from his IPL season was getting to learn from the iconic Zaheer Khan. Shami noted, “You definitely benefit from working with experienced players. The aim while talking to him was to learn as much as I can and understand my game.”

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