[India], Oct.7 (ANI): While praising Mohammed Shami's stunning comeback from injury, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli on Friday admitted the former is a very important bowler for the team who makes it count every time he comes on the field.
"Shami is someone who has comeback very well. He worked really hard on his fitness as well. You can see that he is able to bowl 5-6 overs a spell now in heat," Kohli said on the eve of the third Test against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here.
"As a captain, I feel he is a very important bowler for us in this whole season as well as in future as well. But looking at the future, his fitness and rhythm is very important for us. He is an outstanding bowler, whenever he comes in he makes something happen regardless of the surface we are playing on," he added.
Shami made an impressive return in the longest format of the game after an 18-month hiatus, bagging a total of 10 wickets in the recently-concluded successful four-match series against West Indies. He also notched up eight wickets in first two matches against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old skipper also confirmed the inclusion of Gautam Gambhir for the final Test, saying that the veteran opener is the natural replacement of Shikhar Dhawan, who sustained a thumb fracture in his side's 178-run win at Eden Gardens.
"Yes, that is a natural change because of the injury Shikhar faced.So that is the natural replacement in the team because he is the third opener," he added.
Having recalled in the Test squad after two-year gap, Gambhir grabbed the attention of the selectors with his impressive performances in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy where he scored 356 runs in five innings, including four half centurie
India, who have taken a 2-0 lead, will also play a five-match ODI series against the Kane Williamson-led side, starting on October 16 in Dharamsala. (ANI)