The ever-reliable Mohammed Shami has bowled with a lot more “clarity of mind” in the ongoing IPL, which has helped him deliver near-perfect performances this season, feels Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul.
Shami, a world-class Test bowler, has been in his elements, taking 16 wickets for KXIP in 10 matches so far and played a big role in the last three games that the team has won.
“Look we all know that what Shami can do on a given day. He has been doing that for many years now. I think this year, there is a lot more clarity and he has put his hand up as a senior bowler,” Rahul said after KXIP beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets to keep their campaign for Play-offs on track here on Tuesday.
The KXIP skipper believes that when seniors perform, juniors take inspiration and that’s what is happening thanks to Shami’s efforts.
“It is important that internationals across teams put their hands up. That makes the team lot better and youngsters can feed off that,” he said.
“You start winning a lot of games and it’s great to see Shami doing really well and touchwood the ball is coming out of his hand as perfectly as ever. Hopefully he can get more wickets for the team and keep bowling the way he is bowling,” Rahul added.
Glenn Maxwell also raised hopes of being back to form with a 24-ball 32, something that augurs well for the team, feels the skipper.
“Well, it’s important for the team and individual as well…it’s important that the team backs its match-winners. We know what Maxwell can do. When he comes good, he gives a lot of solidity to the team. He balances it out and is a great team-man.
“To have Maxi in form is a great thing and it has eased his nerves as well. He has played a lot of cricket for a long time and he knew what he needed to do,” Rahul said.
Rahul hailed the hard work put in by his team after a string of losses.
“If all of that comes together every game, I will be sitting here with a big smile. It’s important that guys who haven’t found their form find some form and good that lot of things are falling in place,” he said.
“The work put behind the scenes by the boys and the coaches is slowly starting to show. Hopefully, we can build from here and learn from our mistakes. Go forward with more confidence.”
KXIP has now beaten all top three teams — Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals — in their last three games.
“It feels really good. We are at that stage of the tournament where we need to beat every team that we face. It’s important that we take one game at a time and if we keep trusting ourselves, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against,” said Rahul.