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Mohammed Shami an asset for India at Champions Trophy: Virat Kohli

Kohli hinted that Shami might make his cut in the playing eleven against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

SNS | New Delhi |

India's pace attack, comprising Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, earned high praise from fans and cricket pundits after their impressive performance against Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli, though hinted that Mohammed Shami, who missed the defending champions' first match, might make his cut in the playing eleven against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

"Mohammed Shami hasn't played 50-over cricket for a long time. He is certainly an asset," Kohli said in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Shami last played an ODI for India at the ICC Cricket World Cup in March 2015. Overall in 47 matches, Shami has achieved 87 wickets so far with five four-wicket hauls.

In the practice matches before Champions Trophy, Shami claimed three and one wicket against New Zealand and Bangladesh respectively.

Kohli played five blowers against India, a strategy that resulted in India's 124-run win over Pakistan (D/L). The 28-year-old left a clue that he might go on with the five-bowler theory in the Sri Lanka clash as well.  

"Great to have 4-5 bowlers who can change the game. It gives our batters a lot of confidence," he said.

Kohli also made it clear that leaving Ravichandran Ashwin out against Pakistan was a game plan that the off-spinner understands.

"In case of team selection, Ashwin understands what the team demands. We have a lot of respect among the players, everyone trusts each other and understands what we decide to do," Kohli added.